Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s is looking for a private equity buyer after appointing advisers KPMG to assess its options.
The Financial Times reported that KPMG had approached Wagamama owner Duke Street and Pret a Manger owner Bridgepoint over a possible buyout. It has also sought turnaround specialists and private equity groups.
The chain’s most recent filings showed that despite having a revenue increase of 2.7% to £140m for the year to 25 September 2016, its pre-tax profits fell sharply by 81% to £982,000 over the same period.
The news comes at a time when a number of major restaurants have been struggling, with Byron making the decision to close 20 restaurants in January and 12 closures of Jamie’s Italian.
A private equity executive approached by KPMG told the Financial Times: “This is a desperately difficult sector due to higher business rates, wage costs increasing, difficulty to recruit staff in light of EU labour going home, higher food costs [and] overcapacity in the market following the huge number of new restaurant expansions in last three years.”