Côte Restaurants has been snapped up by private markets investment firm Partners Group – and its first move has been to appoint former Wagamama CEO Jane Holbrook to its board.
The 90-strong chain, which has offered a modern take on French all-day dining since 2007, was trading well with record sales of almost £157m during its last financial year and EBITDA of £18.4m.
It had also launched Côte at Home, its online shop delivering easy to cook dishes, fresh meat and wine.
The company said it had adapted well to the new environment created by Covid-19 but in order to protect the business for the long-term it appointed advisers to help create a stronger financial structure.
The sale of the business to Partners Group is expected to give it added stability.
Alex Scrimgeour, CEO of Côte Restaurants, said: “Côte is a well-established business that traded strongly before the crisis and moved quickly to serve loyal customers at home during lockdown. New safety protocols enabled Côte to welcome back guests into the restaurants. The entire Côte team is excited to continue its success story with the strong backing of Partners Group.”
Christian Ebert, managing director at Partners Group, said the firm has ambitious plans for the business.
“We see a strong brand with a good following, great quality food and a differentiated operating set-up. While the mandatory closure of all Côte’s restaurants due to Covid-19 resulted in a significant loss of revenue and earnings, the brand remains as well-regarded as ever and uniquely positioned in the UK restaurant scene.”
Industry veteran Jane Holbrook, who most recently led the team that grew and developed Wagamama prior to its takeover by The Restaurant Group, will serve as chair of the board.
She said: “Alex and his team have built a great business and a much loved brand. I’m really delighted to be joining it as we undertake the next phase of development and growth.”