Collapsed steak chain Gaucho rescued by banks in a move that could save 16 restaurants and 750 jobs


Collapsed steak chain Gaucho rescued by banks in a move that could save 16 restaurants and 750 jobs

  • Collapsed Gaucho has been bought out of administration by its lenders 
  • Investec and SC Lowy plan to rescue 16 branches and 750 jobs
  • The deal is conditional on a successful CVA to dump CAU liabilities

Emily Hardy

Earlier this year Gaucho fell victim to tough trading conditions on UK High Streets, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the collapsed Argentine steakhouse chain.

Two of its lenders – Investec and SC Lowy – have struck a deal to buy Gaucho out of administration, securing the future of 750 jobs and its 16 restaurants.  

But there’s a catch, because the purchase hinges on the successful delivery of a company voluntary arrangement, administrator Deloitte said on Wednesday.

Gaucho slumped into administration in July this year, putting the future of 1,500 jobs at risk

Gaucho slumped into administration in July this year, putting the future of 1,500 jobs at risk

Gaucho slumped into administration in July this year, putting the future of 1,500 jobs at risk

The new suitors wish to dump liabilities linked to Gaucho’s sister restaurant chain Cau, which collapsed in July with the loss of 540 jobs.   

In order for the rescue deal to go ahead, creditors, including landlords, must give the CVA the green light in a crunch vote on September 19.  

An Investec spokesman said: ‘We believe the creditor group will support the necessary CVA allowing Gaucho shortly to exit administration so we can take the business forward.’ 

He added: ‘We have supported Gaucho since 2016 and continued to provide support to the business through the difficult conditions experienced in 2018.

‘We know the Gaucho team well and have significant confidence they can reinvigorate and grow the Gaucho brand.’

The Argentine steakhouse's 'Gaucho burgers'

The Argentine steakhouse's 'Gaucho burgers'

The Argentine steakhouse’s ‘Gaucho burgers’

As part of the deal, chief executive Oliver Meakin will step down after less than a year in the role.

Meakin previously ran High Street chain Maplin but parted ways with the electricals firm before it hit the buffers in February this year.  

Martin Williams, founder of the group of M branded dining venues, will work alongside Investec and SC Lowry to oversee the next stage of Gaucho’s development.

The sale is expected to complete in mid-October following approval of the CVA.

Gaucho is one of a number of restaurant chains in trouble, with Prezzo, Byron and Jamie’s Italian all shutting restaurants and axing hundreds of jobs this year.

Hummus Bros, a London food chain, also went into administration this summer and Gourmet Burger Kitchen is embarking on a store closure plan.

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