Tragus, the Steve Richards-led group, has completed its restructuring and refinancing, which has seen the company reduce its debt burden from £258m to £91m and cut its estate to c200 core sites.

The company successfully completed three Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) over the summer to establish a “proper footprint for growth”. It said that the restructuring had created a “well-capitalised, market-leading casual dining group”.

The group, which has appointed current Center Parcs chairman and former Wagamama chairman Martin Robinson as its new non-executive chairman, has capex funding of £110m in place to invest in its existing estate and acquire a significant number of new sites.

The company, which sold its Strada estate to Hugh Osmond for £37m at the weekend, said there is substantial investment and innovation plans to improve the product and core brands.

The capital injection offering financial strength and stability was led by funds managed by Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) alongside a consortium comprising York Capital Management, Deutsche Bank, and Oak Hill Capital Partners.

As M&C Report revealed at the weekend the company believes it can grow to 500 sites, comprising 300 Bella Italia and 200 Café Rouge. The company said that agreements had been reached to open 30 additional sites, including 12 this year under the Bella Italia brand.

The CVA processes have seen the group shed c40 sites, while it has disposed of or closed another c50 units over the last nine months.

Tim Scoble, a former chief executive of Thistle Hotels and Little Chef, who has been acting as an advisor to Apollo has also joined the group’s board as a non-executive director.

Richards said: “The restructuring and refinancing phase has been successfully completed and we have transformed Tragus into a focused and financially sound group with a compelling buy and build strategy. Bella Italia and Café Rouge will now benefit from substantial investment and innovation as we develop and scale these two well- loved brands.”

Robinson, who is also a non-executive director of Disneyland Resort Paris, said: “Tragus is now in great shape and it has ambitious growth plans. I am looking forward to working with the team as the business begins its next stage of development.”