Restaurant and café chain undergo a MBO

Town Centre Restaurants (TCR), which runs the Café Giardino, Auberge and Azzurro chains, has undergone a secondary management buy-out.


The deal was backed by private equity group Gresham who bought the stake owned by HBOS IF in a deal with an overall value of £48m.

TCR is one of the UK’s largest privately owned restaurant groups with over 50 sites nationwide providing meals for over 3m customers every year.

Café Giardino is its flagship retail outlet; there are over 40 Café Giardino sites in the UK, compared with nine Auberge units and four Azzurro outlets.

Over the last three years, the management team has focused on consolidating the existing business through refreshing its premises and the Café Giardino brand.

The deal will enable TCR to embark on its strategy of doubling the size of the estate over the next four years.

Mark Winter, chief executive of TCR, said: “Partnering with Gresham will provide us with a strong platform from which to roll-out to our target areas.

“The new funding will enable us to make further improvements in our business and improve the service given to our customers.”

Christian Bruning, director at Gresham, said: “Mark Winter and the team at TCR have done a great job in preparing the business for a period of strong growth.

“We look forward to working with the team to deliver that growth.” Bruning will join the TCR board, as will his colleague Neil Scragg.

Richard Simpson, who worked on another of Gresham’s investments, the Individual Restaurant Company, from which they exited earlier this year, will join as chairman.

The Clydesdale Bank provided debt facilities for the deal.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006

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