Alex and Saiphin Moore, founders of Rosa’s Thai Cafe, have bought the Ceviche restaurant group in an eleventh hour, management-led buy-out deal via pre-pack administration.
The restaurant group filed its intention to appoint administrators a few weeks ago, blaming cost pressures caused by wage increases and a hike in business rates.
The deal sees the Moores acquire the Ceviche group under Atomex, the turnaround company set up by Alex Moore following the majority sale of Rosa’s Thai Cafe to TriSpan last year. They have also closed their latest venture Hoh Sek Noodles in St Katherine Docks to focus on the Ceviche brand, having opened the site earlier this year.
Ceviche founder Martin Morales is no longer a director of or employed by the company but will serve as a brand ambassador. Managing director Raquel de Oliveira, who has worked with the group since 2011 when the first site was opened, has become a shareholder in the business and will continue in her role with the Moore’s support.
Group head chef Daniel Ribeiro and group operations manager Alessio Bascherini will also remain with the business.
The Ceviche group includes the original Ceviche site on Frith Street in London’s Soho, Andina in Shoreditch and Casita Andina on Great Windmill Street, also Soho. Ceviche Old Street, Ceviche Notting Hill and Andina bakery, also in Notting Hill, closed last month.
Staff from the closed sites were offered alternative roles within the business as part of the buy-out terms and 88 jobs were secured.
De Oliveira said: “I am incredibly grateful for having the support of Alex and Saiphin in helping save our beautiful restaurants and our team's employment. Looking forward to working alongside them and creating a strong company once again.”
Alex Moore said: “Saiphin and I are incredibly excited about this opportunity as we have been fans of the Ceviche brand for years. We are looking to put a significant amount of time and resource in to supporting Raquel and to do so we have chosen to temporarily close our other venture Hoh Sek Noodles.”
Morales added: “It’s with a heavy heart that I step away from the business I created and love dearly, but know I am leaving it in Raquel’s very capable hands. She’s been with me on this journey from day one, and has so much passion for both Ceviche and Andina brands. I’m excited about what lies ahead and I am sure with Alex and Saiphin’s support, she can help grow the business, despite the challenging and uncertain economic times we are currently in.”