Gaucho sold to new lenders firm as CEO steps down

Deloitte, the administrators for Gaucho, has today announced the sale of the Gaucho restaurants business to Lomo Bidco, a new vehicle created and owned by the company’s lenders, Investec Bank and SC Lowy.

Lomo Bidco will acquire Gaucho’s 16 UK restaurants, securing the future of its c.750 employees and all sites, conditional on the successful implementation of a Company Voluntary Arrangement of Gioma (UK), the legal entity operating the Gaucho business. The CVA was launched on 5 September, and is a necessary step to exit Gioma from administration and place the business on a strong footing.

In tandem, Oliver Meakin, Gaucho CEO, has announced that he is stepping down from the company now that the future of the business has been secured under new owners. Martin Williams, CEO & Founder of the group of M branded drinking and dining venues, will be working with the key stakeholders to drive the next stage of Gaucho’s development.

Matt Smith, partner at Deloitte LLP, said, “We are delighted Investec and SC Lowy have agreed to purchase Gaucho, which offers the best outcome for all parties. Gaucho is a profitable and successful business and with the support of its new owners can now focus on its future growth plans.”

A spokesman for Investec said, “We have supported Gaucho since 2016 and continued to provide support to the business through the difficult conditions experienced in 2018. We know the Gaucho team well and have significant confidence they can reinvigorate and grow the Gaucho brand. In light of this we have acted in conjunction with SC Lowy to ensure the survival of Gaucho. We believe the creditor group will support the necessary CVA allowing Gaucho shortly to exit administration so we can take the business forward.”

Oliver Meakin, CEO of Gaucho, said, “This is a fantastic outcome for Gaucho and particularly for our exceptional colleagues. I would also like to thank all of our suppliers and guests for their continued support throughout this challenging process, which is a testament to the strength of the Gaucho brand.

“Gaucho is synonymous with special occasion dining, creating genuinely memorable experiences for guests. I am confident that Gaucho has an exciting future ahead and wish the team the very best.”

The sale is expected to complete in mid-October following approval of the CVA.