Four Vapiano restaurants in UK saved from downfall

22 July 2020 2 min. read
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Pizza and pasta restaurant chain Vapiano has seen four of its seven UK locales bought up, after the group fell into administration earlier in July. The deal, overseen by Duff & Phelps administrators, safeguards more than 200 jobs.

In the years leading to 2020, a combination of falling consumer spending power, heightened business rates and rising import costs had already seen a growing number of restaurants enter states of financial distress – particularly in the casual dining segment. This year, the addition of coronavirus into the mix massively compounded the crisis faced by every aspect of the food and drink market, with physical locations being ordered to close doors to the public for much of the second quarter. This has resulted in a large number of food and drink operators falling into administration.

One of the latest brands to fall victim to this trend was Vapiano, a subsidiary of the German restaurant franchise company headquartered in Cologne, Vapiano SE which was first established in 2002. The group's restaurants make handcrafted pasta and freshly made pizza dough on site daily. These are served alongside salads, sauces, dressings, and pesto. The firm was placed into administration at the start of July, due to the financial pressures placed upon it by the coronavirus pandemic.Four Vapiano restaurants in UK saved from downfallFortunately, Vapiano’s future in the UK was swiftly secured by administrators, who completed a pre-pack sale to preserve four of its seven British sites. Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram of Duff & Phelps concluded two transactions, the sale of three restaurants in London to UK VAP, a subsidiary of LOVE & Food Restaurant Holding, and a further site in Manchester to Naveen Handa of the Cairn Hotel Group, which is operated by the Handa family. The transactions secure the future of 209 jobs.

Graham stated, “We are delighted that we have been able to secure the future of this High Street favourite in what are the most extraordinary times for the leisure and hospitality sector.” 

The announcement follows the sale of Vapiano and its subsidiaries in Germany to a consortium led by Mario C. Bauer, who took over the business in a mixed asset/share deal for a total purchase price of €15 million. The transaction included 30 restaurants operated by Vapiano in Germany. Bauer is co-founder and CEO of Love and Food Restaurant Holding, which will serve as Vapiano’s new holding company overall.

Following the changes, UK Country Director Craig Goslin and the existing Vapiano UK management team will remain in place to support the corporate restaurants and franchise network.

Vijay Merchant, Senior Director, Duff & Phelps added, “The collapse into administration of the parent company in Germany put the spotlight on the UK operation, but its successful sale to an investors group has enabled us to rescue the majority of the UK based sites in what has been a great outcome for the Company, its employees and the High Street.”