150 restaurants will be retained

One of the three former CDG brands: Las Iguanas
imago images / PA Images
One of the three former CDG brands: Las Iguanas

The UK-based private equity firm Epiris has completed the acquisition of the Casual Dining Group (CDG). The former operator of Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge is now called The Big Table.

Epiris, which previously invested in TGI Friday's and Parkdean Resorts, is supporting the former CDG management team led by Chief Executive James Spragg. The acquisition preserves 4,000 jobs across the UK and more than 150 restaurants. In early July 2020, CDG filed for insolvency.

Before Covid-19, according to Epris, the Casual Dining Group was one of the largest restaurant groups in the UK with 250 locations. The Big Table will continue to build on this experience while focusing on a smaller, more profitable portfolio. The Group plans to reopen as many units as possible in August - in time to support the UK government's national Eat Out To Help Out initiative.

High cash investment

Spragg is quoted by the news portal Propel: "This is a very positive result for the company. We are delighted to have completed this process and to be working with such experienced and knowledgeable investors. We will inevitably emerge from this process as a leaner company that is now able to meet the challenges of the industry and secure thousands of jobs. This has been an extremely difficult and disturbing time for our teams, and we are pleased that we are now planning to reopen our doors and refocus our attention on what we do best to deliver great experiences to our guests.

According to media reports, Epiris invested £43 million in the former CDG business. This figure is expected to include a substantial cash commitment over the next twelve months to address the Covid 19 impact.

About the Casual Dining Group
The Casual Dining Group (CDG) is one of the largest food service companies in Europe. In the Top 99 Ranking of foodservice Europe & Middle East, CDG 2018 was in 60th place with a turnover of 370 million euros and around 280 units.