Four Vapiano sites of the pizza and pasta brand's seven UK locations have been sold as part of a pre-pack administration, securing more than 200 jobs and the future of the brand in the UK.
The company was a subsidiary of the German restaurant franchise company, Vapiano SE, headquartered in Cologne, which was first established in 2002. The company fell into administration earlier this year but the business and its subsidiaries in Germany were sold to a consortium led by Mario C Bauer, who bought the business including 30 restaurants in Germany in a mixed asset/share deal for €15m (£14m).
Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram of Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators of the UK company. On appointment, the administrators concluded two transactions, the sale of three restaurants in London to UK VAP, a subsidiary of Love & Food Restaurant Holding, and a further site in Manchester to Naveen Handa of the Cairn Hotel Group.
Love & Food Restaurant Holding was set up to buy the business, including the Vapiano brand and franchising rights, on behalf a consortium of investors led by Bauer.
Minhoco 56, trading as the Savour Group will enter a franchise agreement with Love & Food Restaurant Holding to operate the restaurants in Manchester and Edinburgh and open further sites across the UK. The Savour Group was founded by the Dominvs Group, Naveen Handa and Krit Srichawla. Together, the groups held by the Ahluwalia, Handa and Srichawla families will be partners in the London-based venture that will take over the sites on Great Portland Street, Bankside and Tower Bridge.
UK country director Craig Goslin and the existing Vapiano UK management team will remain in place to support the corporate restaurants and franchise network and drive future growth in the UK.
Vijay Merchant, senior director, Duff & Phelps, said: "The collapse into administration of the parent company in Germany put the spotlight on the UK operation, but its successful sale to an investors' group has enabled us to rescue the majority of the UK-based sites in what has been a great outcome for the company, its employees and the high street."
Goslin added: "At the core of the Vapiano UK business is the incredible group of dedicated and passionate people that make up our management and restaurant teams. While sadly not all of our people will be continuing the journey with us, I am grateful, particularly during these unprecedented times, that we've been able to secure the future of Vapiano UK and many of our people. I look forward to leading the team on the exciting next chapter of the Vapiano UK story, while delivering shareholder value for our investors and our franchise partners."