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Expansion to follow Barclays-backed MBO at Gaucho Grill

19 January 2005 by

Expansion is on the cards for the Gaucho Grill chain of Argentine restaurants following a £23.5m management buy-out backed by Barclays Private Equity.

The deal leaves Barclays with a 46% stake in the company, while substantial minority stakes are held by chief executive officer Zeev Godik (who founded the chain in the UK in 1976), UK operations director Donald Storey and finance director Simon Coulthard.

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The buyout includes seven Gaucho Grills in the UK (six in London and one in Manchester), the Gaucho Grill in Amsterdam and a Latin American restaurant, bar and nightclub called Destino that opened more than a year ago in London. It does not cover the franchise business in the Middle East. "With the help of Barclays Private Equity, we intend to build on our success through a measured roll-out of one to two further Gaucho Grill restaurants per year, without compromising on the high quality that our customers have come to expect," said Godik. Gaucho said it had seen like-for-like sales growth of 27% in 2003 and 26% in 2004, when the group achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £3.4m. The harsh economic climate prompted the group to put the brakes on expansion in 2002, when Godiv pulled it off the Alternative Investment Market in a £13.2m management buy-out. by Angela Frewin Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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