Private equity firm Partners Group acquired Cote Restaurants out of administration for £55m, according to administrator's proposals filed with Companies House.
The documents detail how although operating margins had been falling, the group continued to post an operating profit in the 2019 financial year. However, like many other UK casual dining brands, the French restaurant group was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK.
This meant a 30% decline in year-on-year revenue, with lockdown restrictions leading to a cash outflow before loan funding of £17.6m in the 12 months to July 2020, resulting in the group drawing down fully on its £10m revolving credit facility.
Performance was still "significantly impacted" following reopening, with the group in breach of a £150m unitranche facility provided by Partners, as well as material arrears with creditors, notably landlords.
In August, FTI Consulting was instructed by the group to consider its options in relation to the ongoing viability of the companies, and it was concluded that the Partners offer would result in a better return to creditors.
The acquisition was announced last month, when former Wagamama chief executive Jane Holbrook was appointed to lead its growth strategy as chairperson.
On the date of the administration, 53 employees were made redundant of 3,204 staff following the closure of its three Limeyard and Jackson & Rye sites. Of the 98 restaurants the group operated previously, 94 remain open.
Côte was founded in 2007, with its first site opening in London's Wimbledon.