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The Caterer

James Horler to quit La Tasca?

08 May 2007
James Horler to quit La Tasca?

Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has officially won his battle for control of tapas bar chain La Tasca.

With his bid last week being declared unconditional, speculation about how long La Tasca chief executive James Horler will now stay with the business is rife.

Tchenguiz effectively won control of the 73-strong restaurant chain last month when he trounced Café Rouge owner Tragus with a £123m offer for the company.

However, last week Tchenguiz's company, R20, Icelandic bank Kaupthing and private equity group TFT, said they now owned, controlled or had received undertakings to accept the offer from 53.9% of La Tasca's shareholders making the offer unconditional.

As a result, La Tasca's non-executive chairman John Barnes and non-executive director Ian Edward have both resigned from the board and, according to whispers in the City, Horler is unlikely to be far behind them.

"The expectation is that he will stay around for a bit for the handover, but probably not indefinitely," one City observer told Chainleader.

"The question is whether there is much point in him joining a group which already has quite a bit of expertise in food anyway," the source added.

Laurel expects merger to deliver 70% increase in food sales>>

By Nic Paton

E-mail your comments to Nic Paton](mailto:chris.druce@rbi.co.uk?subject=Horeler to leave La Tasca) here.

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