Casual Dining Group rebrands as The Big Table after being acquired by former TGI Friday’s backer

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Casual Dining Group rebrands as The Big Table acquired by Epiris Bella Italia Café Rouge Coronavirus

Related tags Casual dining group Administration

Casual Dining Group (CDG) has been acquired in a pre-pack administration deal by private equity firm Epiris, the former backer of restaurant group TGI Friday’s.

Epiris, whose current investments include the auction house Bonhams, recently emerged as the front-runner to buy the business​, which fell into administration​ last month.

The deal, overseen by by AlixPartners, will see Epiris take control of CDG's Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge restaurant businesses under a new business called The Big Table, in concert with the group's existing management team led by CEO James Spragg.

More than 150 restaurant's in what was CDG's portfolio will continue to operate, preserving over 4,000 jobs. 

As has previously been reported​, 91 sites from across the three restaurant brands will be closed permanently, impacting 1,909 employees. 

Epiris has invested 'significant cash' into the business to help spark a rapid unlocking of the group’s operations, with its restaurant businesses starting to reopen across the UK next week.

It has also made a further commitment for future funding.

The new business will carry no external debt.

“This is a very positive outcome for the business," says Spragg.

"We are delighted to have concluded this process and to be working with such experienced and knowledgeable investors.

"We inevitably emerge from this process as a leaner business, and one that is now equipped to navigate the challenges the industry faces, safeguarding thousands of jobs.”

According to Epiris, the new Big Table moniker is a reference to a far-reaching internal culture programme at the former CDG business that championed togetherness, diversity and inclusivity amongst all members of its business.

“This has been an extremely difficult and unsettling time for our teams and we’re pleased to now be planning to reopen our doors and re-focus our attention on what we do best, creating great experiences for our guests,” adds Spragg. 

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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