Roadside cafe chain Little Chef has today been rescued from administration following last-minute talks
Private equity and turnaround specialist RCapital has come to Little Chef’s aid and bought the business in a deal thought to be worth around £10m.
The deal will save 193 of the 230 restaurants.
Former owner Simon Heath, who bought the business with partner Lawrence Wosskow in 2005, will head the new company.
Israeli property firm Arazim Investments, which owns 65 restaurant freeholds, and Travelodge, another large landlord, are involved in the rescue deal.
RCapital completed the deal with advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers this afternoon.
Tel Aviv-listed Arazim bought the 65 freehold sites in February last year for £59m – £7m more than the whole chain was bought for before Christmas 2005 by Wosskow’s People Restaurant Group.
Wosskow had planned to turn the business around but suffered a heart attack this year and the business failed to meet targets. It had come under pressure from banks since the autumn and KPMG was called in to advise the group in October.