Equistone takes £100m prime cut of Argentinian steak house Gaucho

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Dutch entrepreneur Zeev Godik founded Gaucho in 1976

The Gaucho chain of Argentinian steak restaurants has been snapped up by a hungry buyout firm in a deal thought to be worth around £100m.

Equistone, the private equity firm previously owned by Barclays, is said to have beaten other interested suitors to buy a majority stake in the chain.

Gaucho’s founder, the Dutch entrepreneur Zeev Godik, and private equity firm ICG hired bankers at Canaccord Genuity to find a buyer last summer.

The restaurant sector has been rife with deal activity recently, with brands such as Cote, Prezzo, Pizza Express, Ask, Zizzi, Byron and Coco di Mama all changing hands over the past 18 months.

Founded in 1976, Gaucho now has 18 restaurants including three outside the UK in Hong Kong, Dubai and Buenos Aires.

In 2011 it also launched a more casual sister chain of restaurants called CAU, which has grown to 17 sites.

The deal, reported in The Sunday Telegraph, will mark the second time Equistone has invested in Gaucho after owning a stake between 2005 and 2006.

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