Gaucho Group has announced its intention to appoint administrators, putting 38 restaurants and a reported 1,500 jobs at risk across its Gaucho and Cau chains.
The group had appointed KPMG to advise on its future earlier this year as casual dining brands were hit particularly hard by difficult trading conditions.
A spokesperson for the group announced: “Despite an extensive options process which attracted proposals from a number of parties, it is with regret that due to the complexities of the group’s legal structure, ongoing underperformance at CAU and the level of indebtedness, the directors have been unable to find an agreed, solvent solution.
“Consequently, the directors have today filed in court a notice of intention to appoint an administrator for the business.
“Until such time as the administrator has been appointed and agreed plans with management, it is business as usual.”
It is understood that the Gaucho’s owner Equistone approached lenders with a number of offers that could have saved the group, but that these were rejected.
A spokesperson for the investment firm said: “Equistone has been a supportive majority shareholder to Gaucho Group since its investment in 2016, working closely with the company to address the challenges presented by the adverse trading conditions that have negatively impacted the UK casual dining sector as a whole. Despite Equistone having presented Gaucho’s lenders with, and committed to funding, a business plan that would have maintained the company as a going concern, we understand that a notice of intention to appoint administrators has been submitted.”
Gaucho recently had a management shake up with the departure of Richard Clark, who stepped down as managing director of Cau restaurants in September 2017. Oliver Meakin was appointed chief executive officer of the Gaucho Group in January following the departure of Zeev Godik.