Bakery and café chain Le Pain Quotidien has been sold in a pre-pack deal.
Immediately after the appointment of administrators last Thursday (11 June), the UK business and assets for 15 of the chain’s 26 sites were sold to BrunchCo UK Limited.
However, Le Pain Quotidien’s (LPQ) head office and 11 remaining sites were closed immediately, resulting in 200 redundancies. The remaining 333 staff have been transferred to BrunchCo.
BrunchCo UK is a subsidiary of BrunchCo 21 SA, a newly formed holding company majority owned by Belgian private equity investors M80. The company is also acquiring the Belgian and French assets of LPQ as well as its brand and the international franchises.
LPQ, like many hospitality businesses, has struggled with tough market conditions for a number of years, according to administrators Alvarez & Marsal.
In its latest full-year filing at Companies House, for the year to 31 December 2018, LPQ reported a 4% year-on-year drop in revenue to £38m, making a loss of £700,000. At the time, the company referred to reduced footfall and cost pressures.
The administrators added that the Covid-19 outbreak had exacerbated the situation.
BrunchCo is now holding talks with LPQ’s remaining landlords regarding the structure of its lease agreements and the future of the remaining sites.
The new owner said it planned to make “significant investments” in LPQ to create a sustainable future for the UK business.
“This acquisition secures the brand’s future in the UK, and we hope to conclude the restructuring process within the next few days,” said joint administrator Rob Croxen.
“We appreciate the support of LPQ’s employees at this difficult time.”