Café Rouge owner could be sold

31 August 2004 by
Café Rouge owner could be sold

Restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia could be put up for sale for more than £120m.

A sale is just one option for owner Tragus Holdings after corporate finance advisory firm Hawkpoint was appointed to look at how the company should move forward.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the appointment, but said: "We're consistently looking at the best options for growth in the future. We've had a very successful year this year; we've had a lot of investment in the business and have a lot of openings planned."

Café Rouge: deal on the table?
Tragus was created in May 2002 after Whitbread sold its Pelican and BrightReasons restaurant divisions to a mangement buy-in team, backed by venture capital firm ECI. Tragus is investing £8m in its branded chains, which also include Mamma Amalfi and Abbaye. It recently opened new outlets in Birmingham, Heathrow, Nottingham and Portsmouth, with another opening in Bristol imminent. The former Bella Pasta chain has been rebranded as Bella Italia and the company recently raised additional funding of £13.5m to expand. It wants 12 new sites this year and 24 next year. Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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