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Mon 8th Feb 2021 - Prezzo’s new owner explores restructure, Big Table Group agrees six-year Center Parcs deal
Prezzo’s new owner appoints advisors for possible restructuring: Cain International, the privately held investment firm led by Jonathan Goldstein, which acquired the Karen Jones-chaired Prezzo in December last year, is exploring whether to put the Italian restaurant chain through an insolvency process amid continued uncertainty about the industry's reopening timetable. Sky News reported Cain International is in discussions with scores of landlords about future rent arrangements and the payment of arrears. It is understood to be working with advisers at FTI Consulting, and examining a number of options, depending upon the progress of talks with restaurant-owners. These options included a pre-pack administration or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as well as a consensual restructuring, according to a source. Cain International took over Prezzo as a going concern, rather as part of a restructuring, and said the “vast majority” of the sites would be retained. The price was not disclosed, although Goldstein said he was acquiring its equity and its £57m of debt. The new investment, which included co-financing by Prezzo’s management team, was set to support the business’ ambition to become the “UK’s favourite Italian” and “help reinvigorate high streets across the UK as they rebound from the covid crisis”. Two years ago, Prezzo underwent a 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. Cain and Prezzo declined to comment.

Big Table Group agrees six-year deal with Center Parcs, to introduce new concept: Big Table Group, the operator of Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge, has agreed a new long-term partnership with Center Parcs, which will include a significant investment programme across its 12 restaurant locations and see the introduction of a new premium Italian restaurant concept. The restaurant group, which was formed in the summer, has committed to a new six-year agreement. As part of the deal, the company will refurbish all of its sites – which includes two Las Iguanas sites, four Bella Italia’s and five Café Rouges – over the next two years – at Center Parcs’ five UK locations, in Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire. In addition, Big Table Group will convert a legacy Strada eatery in Center Parcs, Woburn, to a new premium Italian casual dining concept called Amalfi. Due to launch when Center Parcs reopens in 2021, it will serve a menu of authentic Italian food and drinks inspired by the Amalfi Coast. Big Table was formed in July 2020 to acquire and operate the Las Iguanas, Café Rouge and Bella Italia brands that were previously managed by Casual Dining Group (CDG), in concert with the existing management team. The Center Parcs locations were previously operated by CDG. Lloyd Bloom, brand director of concessions and franchising at The Big Table Group, said: “This new long-term contract demonstrates the strong relationship between Big Table Group and Center Parcs and acknowledges the continued demand for our Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas brands in high volume, high quality locations. Alongside this, the deal is testament to the commitment each of our restaurants have to delivering fantastic dining experiences to Center Parcs’ guests and the significant investment will ensure we can continue to do just that. Despite what is a very uncertain time for all, we are extremely excited to be looking ahead, with the refurbishments across locations, as well as the introduction of Amalfi.” Damaein Houghton, Center Parcs’ group food and beverage operations manager, added: “The Big Table Group’s restaurants have been a mainstay in Center Parcs locations for many years and have very much become part of the Center Parcs experience our customers know and love. We’re thrilled to be continuing this relationship with the team and are looking forward to working closely together on the refurbishment of the sites as well the launch of Amalfi, which we are certain will be a hit with our visitors.” In total, Big Table Group operates 12 Center Parcs restaurants, which are primarily split across its Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas brands, within Center Parcs locations at Whinfell Forest; Sherwood Forest; Woburn Forest Breaks; Elveden Forest; and Longleat Forest. Together they receive 2.5 million visitors each year.

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