Duff & Phelps secures future for Vapiano (“the Company”)

Vapiano, the restaurant chain which offers pizza, pasta and salads at seven locations across the UK has been rescued following the appointment of Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram of Duff & Phelps as Administrators. The appointment and subsequent sale of four of the seven sites was concluded as a result of a pre-pack administration that took place on 6 July 2020.

The Company was 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 which are all prepared in-house and guaranteed to be made of the finest ingredients. The restaurants are set in iconic landmark locations and offer fast casual dining in a welcoming environment with a relaxed ambience.

On appointment, the Administrators concluded two transactions, the sale of three restaurants in London to UK VAP Limited, 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.

LOVE & Food Restaurant Holding itself was established as a purchasing vehicle for a consortium of investors led by a former shareholder and director, Mario C Bauer, which purchased the Vapiano brand and franchising rights from Vapiano SE. Under the terms of the agreement, The Handa family’s purchasing vehicle, Minhoco 56 Limited will enter a franchise agreement with LOVE & Food Restaurant Holding to operate the restaurant and are looking to open further sites across the UK.

Allan Graham, Administrator, Duff & Phelps, 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.”

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.”

The announcement follows the sale of Vapiano SE 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 EUR 15 million. The transaction included 30 restaurants operated by Vapiano in Germany.

UK Country Director Craig Goslin and the existing Vapiano UK management team will remain in place to support the corporate restaurants and franchise network and drive future growth in the UK.

Goslin added: “At the core of the Vapiano UK business is the incredible group of dedicated and passionate people that make up our management and restaurant teams. Whilst sadly not all of our people will be continuing the journey with us, I am grateful, particularly during these unprecedented times, that we’ve been able to secure the future of Vapiano UK and many of our people. I look forward to leading the team on the exciting next chapter of the Vapiano UK story, whilst delivering shareholder value for our investors and our franchise partners.”