Restaurant chain to shut down 91 sites
THE owner of Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia has collapsed into administration, leading to the closure of 91 restaurants with more than 1,900 redundancies.
Casual Dining Group is the latest firm to fall victim to the coronavirus crisis in a week when 12,000 jobs have been axed, with the high street and aviation industry bearing the brunt.
The firm – owned by private equity giant KKR – has appointed administrators at Alix Partners as it races to find a buyer, and is likely to be sold off in parts. Its estate will be reduced from 250 to 159 outlets. The group said that given the “extreme operating environment” it was in the best interests of all stakeholders to enter administration so the company can conclude negotiations with landlords. The procedure protects firms which have run out of cash while they try to find a solution.
Most of the closures affect the Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia chains, although 11 Las Iguanas outlets, three Belgo restaurants and several sites at airports will also shut. Turnaround fund Aurelius Equity Opportunities has made an offer to take over Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia, Sky News reported. Rival turnaround firm Endless is said to be competing with private equity investor Trispan to take control of Las Iguanas.