Restaurant chains Gaucho and CAU have been sold to independent investment group Equistone Partners Europe in a deal worth £100m.
Purchaser Equistone – an investment firm owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity – says it now plans to progress with ambitious expansion plans for Gaucho Holdings.
Gaucho offers fine dining with an emphasis on authentic, high quality, Argentinian steaks and an extensive wine list. It has 14 restaurants in the UK and three international restaurants, located in Buenos Aires, Dubai and Hong Kong.
CAU, launched in 2010, offers food from Buenos Aires and has 16 outlets across the UK as well as a site in Amsterdam.
Zeev Godik, CEO and founder of Gaucho Holdings, said: 'We’re delighted to welcome Equistone to the business and look forward to working with them closely as we execute our ambitious growth strategy. Their investment will provide us with the firepower and expertise necessary to expand our restaurant footprint whilst continuing to deliver an outstanding dining experience for our customers.'
Joyce Church, partner at Equistone, said: 'The group is a fantastic addition to the Equistone portfolio and cements our position as one of the leading investors in the UK’s thriving consumer sector.
'The business’s commitment to delivering outstanding customer service coupled with its clearly defined proposition ensures it is well placed to continue gaining market share in an exciting marketplace.'
Equistone acquired its stake in both businesses from Intermediate Capital Group, which invested in 2007. Equistone will work closely with Godik and senior management in expanding Gaucho and CAU's position in the UK and internationally. Dominic Geer and Church from Equistone are to join the Gaucho Holdings board.