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Wed 5th Sep 2018 - Investec and SC Lowry to acquire Gaucho, Meakin confirms departure
Investec and SC Lowy to acquire Gaucho, Meakin confirms departure: Gaucho is to be bought out of administration by a new vehicle created and owned by the company’s lenders, Investec, and Hong Kong-based banking group SC Lowy. Administrator Deloitte has announced the deal, which will see chief executive Oliver Meakin depart with former managing director and M Restaurants founder Martin Williams working with Gaucho to “drive the next stage of development”. The new vehicle – Lomo Bidco – will acquire Gaucho’s 16 restaurants subject to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) being agreed on to dump liabilities linked to Gaucho’s sister restaurant chain CAU, which collapsed in July with the loss of 540 jobs. Deloitte partner Matt Smith said: “We are delighted Investec and SC Lowy have agreed to purchase Gaucho, which offers the best possible outcome for all parties. Gaucho is a profitable and successful business and with the support of its new owners can now focus on its future growth plans.” A spokesman for Investec added: “We have supported Gaucho since 2016 and continued to provide support to the business through the difficult conditions experienced in 2018. We know the Gaucho team well and have significant confidence they can reinvigorate and grow the Gaucho brand. In light of this we have acted in conjunction with SC Lowy to ensure the survival of Gaucho. We believe the creditor group will support the necessary CVA allowing Gaucho shortly to exit administration so we can take the business forward.” Meakin said: “This is a fantastic outcome for Gaucho, particularly for our exceptional colleagues. I would also like to thank all our suppliers and guests for their continued support throughout this challenging process, which is testament to the strength of the Gaucho brand. Gaucho is synonymous with special-occasion dining, creating genuinely memorable experiences for guests. I am confident Gaucho has an exciting future and wish the team the very best.” Gaucho entered administration in July after CAU saw double-digit declines in like-for-like revenues, with “over-expansion, poor site selection and onerous lease arrangements”. All 22 branches of CAU were closed to allow the group to focus on selling the Gaucho chain. The sale of Gaucho to Investec and SC Lowy is expected to be completed in mid-October following approval of the CVA.

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