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Thu 10th May 2018 - Gaucho examines options for CAU
Gaucho examines options for CAU: Gaucho is examining options for its Argentinian-inspired restaurant CAU, which could spell the end of the 22-strong brand. The company is looking at a range of options including a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that would require the approval of landlords and other creditors. Propel understands CAU has seen double-digit sales decline that has accelerated in recent months but it has continued to open further sites. The process is at an early stage but if Gaucho does proceed with a CVA, which would be overseen by KPMG, it could spell the end for all 22 CAU-branded restaurants, with about 750 jobs under threat. A Gaucho spokesman said: “As part of a comprehensive strategic review, the group’s new management team, with the support of its shareholders, is at the early stages of exploring a number of financial restructuring options. No decisions have yet been made.” The Gaucho-branded estate, which comprises 16 restaurants, is said to be performing “in line” with the broader restaurants sector, and is not under threat of closure. Gaucho is owned by private equity firm Equistone and recently appointed a new management team in an attempt to stabilise its financial performance. The company’s founder, Zeev Godik, stepped down as chief executive in November. He was replaced by Oliver Meakin, who joined from electrical retailer Maplin. Earlier this month, managing director Tracey Matthews announced she was stepping down after 18 years with the business to pursue new opportunities. Latest accounts available at Companies House showed for the year ending 31 December 2016 CAU generated turnover of £25,507,748 compared with £16,869,476 the previous year. It reported a pre-tax loss of £2,449,797 compared with a loss of £901,643 the year before.

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