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Serial Investors Table Bid for Stricken Steak Restaurants [Updated]

Former Gaucho chairman Luke Johnson is now interested in buying out Gaucho and Cau

Steak on the grill at Gaucho, a British steak restaurant chain currently in administration Gaucho/Facebook

Carlyle, the American asset management group, has tabled a bid for stricken steak restaurants Gaucho and Cau, according to Sky News. The group’s bid lowballs other interested parties, with a view to forcing through a takeover at speed.

Eater London has learned this morning (8 August) that former Gaucho chairman Luke Johnson is also interested in a bid for the pair of stricken steak restaurants, as first reported by Sky News. Johnson stepped down as Gaucho chairman in 2017, but holds investments in Patisserie Valerie and Gail’s Bakery among others.

As Sky reports, the move comes after Carlyle offloaded a strategic debt position in another stricken casual dining chain, Prezzo. Carlyle had attempted to force through a takeover via debt-for-equity, but shelved plans after a dispute over capital access nearly resulted in legal action from the chain’s current owners, TPG Capital.

Deloitte is handling Gaucho and Cau’s administration: the process took a hit last week when fellow, operational London steak chain Hawksmoor invited customers stranded with void vouchers to use them at its restaurants. It had previously invited Cau’s employees to apply for jobs. Eater understands that Cau’s sudden closure resulted in the loss of at least 700 jobs; Gaucho restaurants continue to trade, for now.

More soon.

Updated 08.08.2018, 11:20, with news of a new interested party.