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Wed 6th Mar 2019 - Exclusive – Veeno acquired out of administration
Exclusive – Veeno acquired out of administration: Italian wine cafe Veeno has been bought out of administration by Rodrigue Trouillet, who joined the business as its new partner in November, Propel can exclusively reveal. Veeno appointed Julie Palmer and Stephen Powell, of Begbies Traynor, as joint administrators on 1 March. Trouillet, who was overseeing the business’ development strategy and marketing operations, has subsequently acquired the business. All 15 sites are open and trading and about 70 jobs have been saved in the process. As a result of the acquisition by Trouillet, co-founder Nino Caruso has stepped back from the business. Propel understands discussions will take place to determine whether Caruso plays a role in Veeno in the future. Trouillet told Propel: “This is a healthy business and we are putting plans in place that will improve it further. This includes looking at the food and drink offer and introducing some new items, which we will do in due course. We are still going through processes with the administrators and look forward to sharing more on our future plans in due course.” Last month, Propel revealed Veeno was reviewing its estate, which had led to the closure of its site in Harrogate. Veeno’s franchised site in Norwich, which opened in November at the Castle Street shopping centre, has also closed due to “problems with the franchisees”, with the company exploring the option of reopening it as a company-owned venue. Meanwhile, Veeno converted its Reading site from a company owned to a franchise store. Caruso said at the time: “We have grown very fast in the past few years and, with the management change, we felt this was the right time to look at the estate. We decided to shut Harrogate because it was unprofitable – there was just too much competition in that area.” Trouillet’s arrival coincided with Andrea Zecchino stepping down from the company he founded with Caruso in 2013. Veeno currently has ten company-owned and five franchise sites.

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