Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge restaurants deal saves 4,000 jobs

More than 4,000 jobs at three restaurant chains have been safeguarded under a new deal.

Private equity firm Epiris has acquired control of the Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge businesses, preserving more than 150 restaurants.

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The business formerly known as Casual Dining Group was acquired from administration in a process handled by AlixPartners.

The new business, through which Epiris has made the acquisition, is to be called The Big Table.

Epiris has invested significant cash into the business to help spark a rapid unlocking of restaurants which have been closed since lockdown in March.

The group plans to open as many restaurants as possible during August - in time to get behind the UK Government’s national Eat Out to Help Out initiative.

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'Leaner business'

James Spragg, chief executive officer of the management team, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this process and to be working with such experienced and knowledgeable investors.

"We inevitably emerge from this process as a leaner business, and one that is now equipped to navigate the challenges the industry faces, safeguarding thousands of jobs.”

Ian Wood, partner at Epiris, said: “We will work with James and his team to re-open the restaurants, bringing over 4,000 people off furlough to enable customers to enjoy dining out again."

Mr Spragg added: “This has been an extremely difficult time for our teams and we’re pleased to now be planning to reopen our doors and re-focus our attention on what we do best, creating great experiences for our guests.”

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