600 jobs saved as restaurant chain completes CVA

Italian restaurant chain Gusto has completed a successful CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) securing the future of the business and saving more than 600 jobs.

As the casual dining sector continues to feel the impact of Covid-19 and the most challenging trading conditions in a generation, the majority of the firm’s creditors (98%) voted in favour of the CVA.

Gusto was founded in 2005 and following a management buyout in 2014, supported by Palatine, the chain grew from nine restaurants to having venues across the country. However like many restaurants the current Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the business and it looked to be the latest casualty of the pandemic before this deal was reached.

Despite the CVA, several sites have had to close including York, Lytham, Leamington Spa and Mere Green, resulting in the reported loss of 105 jobs. However the restaurant chain’s remaining 14 venues across England and Scotland have now reopened and the firm believes this agreement will mean it is “ready to return to a growth strategy when the time is right.”

Matt Snell, chief executive of Gusto, said: “The last six months have been the most challenging in the history of our business. and the wider sector. The passing of the CVA is an important milestone, securing the future of the Gusto business and protecting more than 600 jobs.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our creditors and landlords for their support through this time and our investors for its vision in supporting our business plan going forward.”

Damian Webb, partner at RSM Restructuring Advisory who advised Gusto, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has presented a huge range of challenges for the casual dining sector. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of new measures this week, these challenges look set to be with us for at least the medium-term. The approval of this CVA, with the overwhelming support of Gusto’s landlords, shows how stakeholders are prepared to support high street businesses until the time when things become easier.”

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