CAU, the casual dining brand from Gaucho, has appointed KPMG to assess its options, which is expected to lead to closures or conversions of the brand.
A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is one of several options being considered, which comes amid a background of two years of double digit like for like decline, which has accelerated in recent months.
The group’s main brand Gaucho is understood to be performing in line with the market.
The company is looking at a range of options, but if it does proceed with a CVA overseen by KPMG, it could spell the end for the 22 strong-brand, with the sites subject to closure or conversion into Gaucho.
A company spokesperson said: “As part of a comprehensive strategic review, the Group’s new management team with the support of its shareholders, is at the early stages of exploring a number of financial restructuring options. No decisions have yet been made.”
A new management team was recently appointed to resolve legacy problems at CAU – though these are understood to have been worse than first expected, with declines deepening in 2018 as the wider market slumped.
CAU’s previous management are understood to have over expanded – opening six sites each in 2015 and 2016, with onerous leases and poor site selection meaning they have been the worst performers
The company’s founder, Zeev Godik, stepped down several months ago.
He was replaced by Oliver Meakin, who joined from Maplin, the electricals retailer which itself plunged into administration earlier this year.
Owner Equistone private equity is supportive of the process.