Strada restaurant group sold to Tragus

Richard Caring sells off the growing chain for £140m


Serial entrepreneur Richard Caring has sold the Strada restaurant group to Tragus, the owner of Café Rouge and Bella Italia, in a deal worth £140m.

Publicity shy Caring, who also owns the famous Ivy restaurant and has a stake in Carluccio’s, has more than doubled his money on the chain which he bought two-years-ago.

The buyer Tragus now owns all of Strada’s 50 Italian restaurants as well five other premises which trade under the Belgo and Bierodrome brands.

Tragus, which was bought out by the US private equity giant Blackstone for £267m in December last year, is now set to grow into one of the UK’s largest ‘casual dining’ restaurant groups.

In February, it bought MA Potters adding 16 sites to its brasseries section which also includes Abbaye.

Along with its French and Italian food businesses, the group also has a Spanish arm in the form of Ortega, a tapas bar and cantina.

In total, Tragus is now comprised of over 230 units, a number which is set to grow even further as it plans treble the number of Strada units to 150.

Graham Turner, CEO of Tragus, said: “We are delighted to have acquired such a high quality and well recognised brand with real growth potential.

“We believe there is significant benefit to combining the Strada business within the Tragus group and continuing the Strada story of consistent high quality growth.”

Debt facilities for the deal were provided by Barclays Capital and Tragus was advised on the transaction by Rothschild.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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