Cote Restaurants plans for new chapter after private equity sale

Restaurant group Côte is tipped to embark on a new chapter of store expansion after the private equity firm that owned the business confirmed its sale.

CBPE Capital, a mid-market private equity firm, said that it had achieved a 2.9 x return on its original investment in the chain after offloading it to BC Partners. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed although reports value the business at around £250m.

Côte was founded by a group of experienced restaurateurs, who opened the first restaurant in Wimbledon in 2007. It was established on the principle of serving simple, freshly prepared French food at value for money prices, an ethos which remains today.

CBPE invested in Côte in September 2013, backing Harald Samuelsson, Alex Scrimgeour and the rest of the management team to continue to grow the business while maintaining its commitment to offering high quality food at a reasonable price.

Under CBPE’s ownership, Côte has opened 23 new restaurants across the UK and the business has created more than 1,300 new jobs. The company said the consistency of Côte’s performance across its estate is “market leading”, noting that there are no loss-making sites and EBITDA has grown by more than 60% since CBPE invested.

The business currently employs over 2,700 people across 67 restaurants nationwide, the majority of which are outside London.

Alex Scrimgeour, joint managing director of Côte, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved at Côte since opening the first restaurant in 2007 and I would like to thank CBPE for their insight and guidance over their investment period. CBPE has been a very supportive investor and shares our commitment to providing a great eating out experience while keeping prices reasonable for our customers, which has been the cornerstone of our success.”

CBPE’s investment was co-led by Ian Moore and Sean Dinnen with support from Tom Biddle and it continues CBPE’s strong track record of investing in the leisure sector.

Moore commented: “Côte has achieved exceptional growth in the last two years and has been a great investment for CBPE. We had known the Côte team for a number of years before investing in the business and backed Harald, Alex and the rest of the management team because they have an uncompromising dedication to quality and a proven track record of growing successful restaurant businesses.”




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