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Casual Dining Group bought out of administration and rebranded as the Big Table

01 August 2020 by

Casual Dining Group has been bought out of administration by private equity firm Epiris in a deal that will preserve 4,000 jobs across 150 restaurants.

The business, incorporating the Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge brands, will be rebranded as The Big Table, but continue to be led by the existing management team under CEO James Spragg.

Epiris is understood to have made a significant cash injection into the business and pledged future funding. The business will carry no external debt going forward.

Ian Wood, a partner at Epiris, said: "In common with most of the sector, the Big Table's restaurants have been closed since late March. We will work with James and his team to re-open the restaurants, bringing more than 4,000 people off furlough to enable customers to enjoy dining out again. This transaction will enable the business to trade through the uncertain months ahead and invest in its three strong brands to deliver an even better experience for their customers."

Spragg added: "This is a very positive outcome for the business. We are delighted to have concluded this process and to be working with such experienced and knowledgeable investors. We inevitably emerge from this process as a leaner business, and one that is now equipped to navigate the challenges the industry faces, safeguarding thousands of jobs."

Casual Dining Group had fallen into administration in early July, immediately announcing the closure of 91 of its around 250 sites, with the loss of 1,909 jobs.

Clare Kennedy of administrator AlixPartners said: "We received a significant level of interest in the group, which is a testament to the strength of its management team, the affection in which its brands are held by the public and the quality of its people. We are extremely pleased to have been able to help the group find a new investment partner with such strong industry credentials and we wish both parties and everybody who works at the Big Table all the very best for a successful future."

Last week Rooney Anand announced he would step down from his position as chairman of Casual Dining Group after less than two years in the role.

Picture: Shutterstock

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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