Gaucho holding company Lomo Bidco – an entity owned by Investec Bank plc and SC Lowy – revealed yesterday that it has done a deal to acquire M Restaurants.
The transaction brings together M Restaurants’ three venues and Gaucho’s 16 sites.
Following the transaction, Lomo Bidco will be renamed ‘Rare Restaurants’ and will act as the holding company for the group.
Gaucho and M will continue to operate with independent operational teams, but enjoy one shared head office, where an experienced senior management team will oversee both brands.
The founder of M Restaurants, Martin Williams, will assume the role of CEO of Rare Restaurants and will be joined by a fresh team of leading industry talent including former D&D executive Jim Kottler as CFO.
Lomo Bidco’s acquisition of M follows the transaction to buy Gaucho out of administration last October in a move that later saw Mr Williams installed at the helm. The group has achieved consistent double digit like-for-like cover growth over the past four months.
Rare Restaurants will operate and manage two established UK dining brands, bringing efficiencies across operations, strategy and talent.
Mr Williams said: “I’m excited by the coming together of Gaucho and M Restaurants. Both brands are incredibly close to my heart and I am confident that together with Investec Bank and SC Lowy’s backing we have what it takes to build further on the success we’ve already achieved.
“When I created M, I hoped that eventually, we would find the right backers to offer our current shareholders a profitable exit, while propelling the company into a new chapter which would embrace our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to an outstanding guest experience. I am delighted that we have found what promises to be a perfect partnership.”
Investment bank Zeus Capital advised Management through the transaction process as well as the M shareholders on the sale.
Dane Houlahan, M&A managing director at Zeus, commented: “We believe the new strategy behind Gaucho and its subsequent combination with M is a much needed positive piece of news for the UK restaurant sector.”