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Mon 20th Apr 2020 - NWTC appoints Jesper Friis as new CEO as Hill steps down, Le Pain Quotidien UK set to go into administration
NWTC appoints Jesper Friis as new CEO as Hill steps down: Graphite Capital-backed pub restaurant group The New World Trading Company (NWTC) has appointed Jesper Friis as its new chief executive as it prepares for renewed growth when government restrictions related to the coronavirus are lifted, Propel has learned. Friis, who replaces Chris Hill, joins NWTC from Ole & Steen (Lagkagehuset) where, as chief executive, he led the Danish bakery group’s expansion from 35 to more than 100 outlets, including stores in the UK and New York. Friis previously spent three years running the €2.6bn Western European arm of Carlsberg Group. He said: “I am grateful for this opportunity. New World Trading Company has great brands, built on strong principles and values. This is patently an extremely challenging time for the industry but I am looking forward to continuing the impressive work that has been done by my predecessor Chris Hill and his team.” Hill helped build the business over the past seven years from two to 28 sites. He will continue to be involved with NWTC as a consultant, working on special projects over the coming months. He said: “I am privileged to have led and worked alongside the incredible people at NWTC. The unrivalled culture, pioneering teams and ambitious brands that we designed and built together are amazing. I leave with invaluable experiences to take into my next chapter. NWTC is an exceptional business and I wish Jesper and all the NWTC teams great success with the company’s ambitious future plans.” NWTC chairman Justin Ash added: “Chris has shown exceptional leadership in building a unique proposition across NWTC’s brands. His achievements have been rightly and widely recognised, and we wish him well in his future endeavours and look forward to benefiting from his on-going advice. Jesper brings an impressive track record of scaling up successful businesses and of making them expand profitably at pace, with a powerful focus on customer satisfaction. His proven leadership lands at a critical time for the business and I, and the Board, look forward to working with him as he takes NWTC forward.” NWTC operates seven brands – The Oast House, The Botanist, The Canal House, The Trading House, The Club House, Smugglers Cove and The Florist.

Le Pain Quotidien UK set to go into administration: UK Belgian restaurant and boulangerie brand Le Pain Quotidien UK is set to go into administration as it races to find a buyer. As revealed by Propel last week, an emergency sale process for the business, which trades from 26 sites in Britain, has set a deadline of Wednesday (22 April) for offers. Alvarez & Marsal is overseeing the auction and is likely to be appointed as administrator unless a solvent sale is concluded in the coming days. One potential bidder said a pre-pack administration was the likeliest outcome. In September, Le Pain Quotidien reported turnover fell 4.0% to £38m for the year ending 31 December 2018, compared with £39.5m the previous year. It reported a pre-tax loss of £711,000 compared with a profit of £1.2m the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Gross profit margin fell to 13.8% compared with 16.1% the previous year, which “highlighted the tough trading conditions”.

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