Barclays sells Gaucho Grill in £55m secondary buyout

Barclays Private Equity, the private equity arm of the UK bank, has sold Gaucho Grill to Phoenix Equity Partners, a rival UK mid-market firm, for £55m.

Barclays Private Equity, a UK mid-market private equity firm, has sold its  47 percent  stake in Gaucho Grill, a UK restaurant chain, in a £55 million (€81 million) secondary buyout to Phoenix Equity Partners, a London-based mid-market firm.
The company’s management own the balance.

New World Corporate Finance advised Phoenix Equity Partners and the management team, which is led by Gaucho Grill founder Zeev Godik. New World Corporate Finance also advised Barclays Private Equity on the original buyout.

Barclays Private Equity backed a £23.5 million management buyout of Gaucho Grill in January 2005 with debt provided by Royal Bank of Scotland. The firm invested from Barclays Private Equity European Fund I, which closed on €1.25 billion in 2002. The fund is now fully invested and has returned more than its original capital. Barclays Private Equity declined to comment on returns generated from the Gaucho Grill sale.

Founded by Godik in 1976, Gaucho Grill is a chain of Argentine-themed restaurants, which started out with one restaurant in Piccadilly, London. Since the Barclays Private Equity buyout, Gaucho Grill has added a restaurant in Broadgate, London and refurbished the flagship Piccadilly site with a wine shop specialising in Argentine wines and a basement events venue.

Gaucho Grill has eight restaurants in the UK, one in Amsterdam and a franchise business in the Middle East. Barclays Private Equity said that the company has doubled its profits since the original buyout, at which time the company reported 2004 EBITDA of £3.4 million.

Barclays Private Equity has carried out eight other exits this year, including Groupe Five-Lille and the French arm of Interflora, oil services group CRP and Recruitment Solutions Group, a UK social services, healthcare and education recruitment consultancy.