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Wed 2nd Dec 2020 - Cain International acquires Prezzo
Cain International acquires Prezzo: Cain International, the privately held investment firm led by Jonathan Goldstein, has acquired the Karen Jones-led Prezzo as a going concern. The investment, which includes co-financing by Prezzo’s management team, will support the 180-strong business’ ambition to become the “UK’s favourite Italian” and “help reinvigorate high streets across the UK as they rebound from the covid crisis”. Jones, who joined the business in 2018 as executive chair, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Jonathan and Cain International. Together, we think our shared belief in great hospitality and entrepreneurial approach, combined with a restaurant business based in the high streets of the UK, represents a powerful blend for the times we live in. As we look forward to this new chapter, I would like to take this opportunity to also thank [private equity group] TPG and our other shareholders for their invaluable support and work over the years.” Goldstein, chief executive and co-founder of Cain International, will join Prezzo’s board of directors following completion of the transaction, which is expected to complete later this month. He said: “We firmly believe strong hospitality and leisure brands with disciplined leadership will thrive in a post-covid landscape. Prezzo has a clear vision for how to best serve its customers and communities, and I am confident that the combination of Cain’s operational and financial expertise, the exceptional management team led by Karen, and the commitment of Prezzo’s entire workforce will enable the business to realise its full potential. We are extremely excited about joining the Prezzo family and putting it on a path toward renewed growth.” Prezzo said it has outperformed the sector during the past 12 months with “robust trading” leading up to the lockdown in March, and in the intervening period between the March and October lockdowns. It said these periods of trading, together with the new support from Cain International, give the brand “a strong platform for its future growth”. Cain International’s current UK hospitality and leisure portfolio includes experiential crazy golf brand Swingers; Maslow’s Group, which operates private members’ club Mortimer House; and The AllBright, the collective for women in business. In July, Propel revealed Prezzo was looking to secure £15m of funding to restart the business and accelerate sales growth. Before the pandemic, the business is thought to have been posting like-for-like sales growth of 3% and, with its 180-strong estate weighted towards the south east and smaller towns and cities, the company believes it is well positioned to benefit from the growing trend of working from home as the sector reopens. Two years ago, the group underwent a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) that saw one third of its circa 300 sites close and a subsequent debt-for-equity swap completed. Private equity firm TPG took Prezzo private in a £303.7m deal at the end of 2014.

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