The boss of M Restaurants has suggested that he may make a second bid to buy the struggling Gaucho and Cau brands.
Martin Williams served as managing director of Gaucho for nine years between 2005 and 2014 before departing to establish M Restaurants. He said: "After hearing that the chain was struggling, we made enquiries and put forward a proposal late last year with regard to taking the Gaucho and Cau brands under our wing and leadership team of M.
"Sadly, Equistone [the majority stakeholder in Cau and Gaucho] instead opted for a new chief executive [from the now closed Maplin Electronics shops] and a different direction. With the sad news that many of the talented team at Gaucho and Cau now face job insecurity, my first priority is to open the doors at M to many of the great team that I nurtured during my tenure as MD at Gaucho.
"M is performing wonderfully and looking for expansion opportunities, so in the coming weeks we will take a fresh look at where Gaucho and Cau are at."
In February, Williams hit out at "dated and rightly dying" chains as he reported 19% growth across his group. In the same month he made a bid to buy Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa restaurants as they fell into administration, but no deal was reached.
Williams said: "I believe that all restaurants and brands must have their own character and personality, but above all offer a quality proposition and exceptional hospitality. With increasing financial pressures hitting the industry these key principles have been lost at times with chains in the past years, and we are now seeing the fallout."