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Fri 11th Dec 2015 - Casual Dining Group refinances debt, growing importance of breakfast
Casual Dining Group refinances debt: Casual Dining Group has refinanced its debt to fund further expansion and strengthen its existing capital structures. The company, which operates brands including Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, has agreed a deal with global investment firm KKR worth about £160m. It is thought that the debt provided broadly equates to three times underlying profits. Casual Dining Group chief executive Steve Richards said: “We are pleased to have concluded this process with KKR. The group remains conservatively geared and this transaction provides capital that will underpin our long-term growth strategy.” Marc Ciancimino, member and head of European private credit at KKR, said: “We believe that the direct lending landscape in Europe is undergoing a structural change. Non-bank lending is becoming a more important feature of the €9.5 trillion market backing European corporates. We are seeing an increase in the number of companies looking for alternative customised lending solutions to support their needs.” KKR’s European direct lending platform, part of KKR Credit, provides funding for medium sized enterprises across Europe in need of customised funding solutions beyond traditional bank lending. In 2015 alone, KKR completed eight direct lending transactions in Europe, deploying more than $500m in long term capital for companies across a number of countries, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and Benelux, and across a variety of sectors such as industrials, consumer, retail and care services.

NPD Group report highlights growing importance of breakfast in British QSR market: The growing importance of breakfast in the British quick-service restaurant (QSR) market has been highlighted in a new report. Data from insights firm NPD Group has revealed how breakfast contributes to an increasing proportion of QSR traffic – accounting now for 11% of all visits. Although still small, it has been growing its traffic by almost a third in the last five years. In real terms, breakfast now equates to 640 million visits in the year-ending September 2015. Fiscally, breakfast generates £2bn for the QSR channel. Retailers and coffee shops are the two biggest providers of breakfast in the QSR channel. They alone account for almost half of all breakfast traffic in the sector. However, they are followed very closely by burger outlets and bakeries. Although thought to be less valuable, a breakfast visit is on average worth £3.10, which is only 52p less than the total average visit. The research revealed breakfast in the QSR channel tends to be a lonely occasion as 80% of all visits are by a person eating alone. Consumers are also more likely to be men and over 25 years old. NPD Group account manager Muriel Illig said: “Although breakfast is performing well, operators must not become complacent. There is still more opportunity to be grabbed in the QSR sector; this would come by developing more social breakfast occasions and more suitable offers to women. Overall, as it is the case in the food service market in general, innovation will be essential to sustain the performance.”

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