Deloitte, the administrators of Gaucho, are set to announce later this morning that Oliver Meakin, the steakhouse chain’s chief executive since the start of the year, has left the business, MCA has learnt.

It is understood that Deloitte is set to announce Meakin’s replacement later this morning, with Carluccio’s ex-chief executive Neil Wickers, one name linked to the role overnight.

At the start of last month Meakin, who was director of emerging concepts at M&B before joining Maplin Electronics, said it was “business as usual” at Gaucho despite the company entering administration and all of the 22 sites under its sister concept CAU being closed.

It is thought that Meakin’s former Maplin colleague Peter Brigden, who was also working at Gaucho, initially as an interim operations director at CAU, has also left the business.

At the same time, Deloitte will confirm that SC Lowy, a Hong Kong-based boutique investment bank, and Investec has acquired the 16-strong company’s debt and is working on a deal to buy Gaucho.

MCA revealed last month that SC Lowy had bought up debt in the premium steak chain, from four of the company’s five-strong banking group

It is thought that SC Lowy has taken on some of Gaucho’s c£50m debt for between 30p and 40p in the pound.

Luke Johnson, who is thought would look to back the existing management team; the Carlyle Group; Endless; Newcastle-based hospitality operator The Cairn Group and Aurelius Equity are all thought to have made previous bids for the 16-strong business. Ex-Gaucho executive Martin Williams, founder of M Restaurants, had also shown an interest in his former company.

It is thought that the underlying Gaucho business remains robust, but that the longer the process goes on the less time a new investor will have to build momentum before the crucial run up to Christmas, especially in terms of securing corporate bookings.

Previous backer Equistone had a £20m bid for Gaucho rejected by the banks before the business was placed into administration with Deloitte.

It is understood that any successful bidder could have to carry out a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) of the business, in order to keep the estate in one piece, and immediately pay an outstanding tax bill of more than £1m. It is thought that a CVA process could even be announced later today.

Richard Caring and D&D London were believed to be amongst the parties to have shown an interest in acquiring parts of the Gaucho estate, with sites in Swallow Street, the O2 and Richmond seen as the “jewels in the group’s estate”.

SC Lowy, which focuses on distressed and stressed credit, was founded in 2009 by Michel Lowy and Soo Cheon Lee after both worked on Deutsche Bank’s special situations desk.