Blackstone cedes La Tasca to Tchenguiz

The Blackstone Group has admitted defeat in its attempt to buy La Tasca, a UK tapas chain, after property investor Robert Tchenguiz bought up a blocking stake and trumped its bid for a second time.

The Blackstone Group has said it will not increase its bid for La Tasca, a UK tapas chain, admitting defeat in its £100 million (€148 million; $198 million) battle with property investor Robert Tchenguiz.

In a regulatory news statement, Blackstone’s portfolio company Tragus, owner of the Café Rouge and Bella Italia chains, said it will not increase its 192 pence per share offer, and will now look to sell “some or all” of its 6.88 percent stake in La Tasca.

As a result, this morning La Tasca’s board said it “considered its position” and decided to switch its recommendation to Tchenguiz’s latest 200 pence per share bid. La Tasca will now have to pay Blackstone a break fee of £1 million.

Yesterday Tchenguiz’s investment vehicle R20, which is acting in conjunction with Kaupthing bank, increased its holding in La Tasca to more than 20 percent and trumped Blackstone’s offer for the second time. The deal values the business at about £104 million.

Blackstone had originally offered 185 pence per share, but increased this to 192 pence per share after R20 entered the fray with an 190 pence bid.

Tchenguiz is expected to merge the La Tasca chain with the Laurel Pub Company business that he already owns.