Milan – 12 November 2015 – Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading international private equity firm, have reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Cigierre (“the Company”), Italy’s leading restaurant chain, from the founder and CEO Marco Di Giusto, as well as L Capital and Paladin Capital Partners. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close early in 2016.
Founded in 1995 in Udine, Cigierre operates more than 180 casual dining restaurants across Italy, both directly operated and through franchising. The Company offers food from a variety of international cuisines at affordable prices through different formats, including the popular Old Wild West and Wiener Haus brands.
Cigierre has grown at an impressive pace over the past four years, opening 70 new restaurants and delivering revenue and EBITDA growth of c.40% per year, with best-in-class unit economics.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner at BC Partners, commented: "Cigierre is one of the fastest growing companies in Italy and one of the most innovative restaurant businesses in Europe. We look forward to partnering with the founder and CEO Marco Di Giusto and his entrepreneurial management team to continue the roll-out of the existing formats, as well as developing and acquiring other restaurant concepts in Italy and internationally."
Marco Di Giusto, founder and CEO of Cigierre, commented: "The support we have received over the past four years has been vital for Cigierre’s success and I would like to thank our investors and Andrea Ottaviano during this development phase. With BC Partners, who have a long history of successful investments in Italy and deep expertise in the retail and casual dining sectors internationally, I believe we have found an ideal partner for the next stage of Cigierre’s growth."
BC Partners has invested in Italy for almost 30 years, most recently through its investment in the Italian leading apparel retailer OVS, which successfully listed on the Milan Stock Exchange earlier this year, and has strong casual dining expertise, having recently acquired Côte Restaurants, one of UK’s fastest growing restaurant chains.
Rothschild and NCTM were advising the sellers’ while Cigierre’s management was advised by Studio Molaro-Romanellli-Pezzetta-Del Fabbro. BC Partners was advised by DVRCapital and UniCredit and supported by Bonelli Erede and Dickson Minto on legal, PWC on accounting, Facchini, Rossi & Soci on tax and Reno on commercial. The transaction is being financed by UniCredit.
Founded in Udine in 1995, Cigierre – Compagnia Generale Ristorazione S.p.A. – is acknowledged to be the Italian point of reference for casual dining and the development of restaurants in franchising or directly operated.
Cigierre owns several brands and formats: Old Wild West, Wiener Haus, Arabian Kebab, Kukkuma and Shi’S. The flagship format, Old Wild West, is a steakhouse concept renowned for its rich offer of hamburgers and Argentinian and Irish grilled meats. The Company is committed to a strong expansion strategy that envisages 25 new openings per year.
BC Partners is a leading international private equity firm with over €12 billion of assets under management. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for nearly three decades. BC Partners executives operate as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in Europe and North America, acquiring and developing businesses to create value in partnership with management. Since inception, BC Partners has invested in 91 companies1 with a total enterprise value of nearly €100 billion and is currently investing its ninth fund, which was raised in 2011 with total commitments of €6.7 billion.
1Two are subject to completion.