First round bids are due this week for Gaucho, the operator of the eponymous Argentinean steakhouse concept and sister brand CAU, and Ed’s Easy Diner, the fast-growing 1950’s American diner concept, M&C understands.
It is thought that first round bids for the Intermediate Capital Group (ICG)-backed Gaucho were received earlier this week.
It is thought that Gaucho had valued itself at c£140m but that bids for the group have been nearer the £100m to £110m mark, with CAU, which will open its 13th site tomorrow in Didsbury, currently seen as the main driver of growth in the business.
Private equity players such as Equistone, Investcorp and former backer Phoenix Equity Partners have all been mooted as possible suitors for the Zeev Godik-led group.
It is understood that first round bids for Ed’s, which recently appointed Ivan Schofield, who had been managing director of KFC Western Europe since 2011, as its new chief executive, are due in this Friday.
The company appointed McQueen to advise on its options last year and it is thought that the Casual Dining Group and The Restaurant Group (TRG) both ran the rule over the business earlier this year, but have sinced cooled their interest in the 49-strong brand.
The group reported diner EBITDA of £5.9m in the year to 30 September 2014, up from £2m the previous year, on turnover of £26.5m, an increase of £8.9m (50.7%) over last year.
As revealed by M&C earlier this spring , Gaucho had appointed Canaccord Genuity to assess its options.
M&C understands that its two brands are currently generated a combined EBITDA figure of £12m.
In 2007, ICG backed the management buyout of the business after it aborted plans to list on the stock market, a process that was expected to value the business at more than £100m.
CAU, the group’s more casual dining steakhouse concept, has been its main growth driver over the last few years and is thought will remain the main expansion play going forward, with further sityes for this year lined up in Bath and Birmingham.