200 jobs to go as Le Pain Quotidien rescued from administration

Cafe chain Le Pain Quotidien has been bought in a rescue deal after collapsing into administration, resulting in 11 closures and 200 job losses.

The company appointed administrators from insolvency specialists Alvarez & Marsal on Thursday after challenging trading conditions were exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.

However, administrators secured the sale of the UK business and 15 sites to newly-formed business BrunchCo.

The new owner is a subsidiary of BrunchCo 21 SA, which will also acquire Le Pain Quotidien’s Belgian and French assets.

Hampstead stock
Le Pain Quotidien, Hampstead Heath (Jonathan Brady/PA)

However, it said the company will permanently close the chain’s UK head office and 11 of its cafes with immediate effect, resulting in 200 redundancies.

It said 333 roles have been saved in the deal, with staff being transferred over to BrunchCo.

The new owner will be holding talks with the chain’s remaining landlords over the structure of its current leases and the future of its remaining sites, administrators said.

Rob Croxen, joint administrator and managing director at Alvarez & Marsal said: “Like many operators in the hospitality sector, Le Pain Quotidien has struggled with tough market conditions for a number of years.

“This situation has been exasperated by the coronavirus outbreak.

“This acquisition secures the brand’s future in the UK, and we hope to conclude the restructuring process within the next few days. We appreciate the support of Le Pain Quotidien’s employees at this difficult time.”

The administration follows the failures of other dining chains, such as Carluccio’s and Chiquito, following the pandemic.

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