Thursday, April 22, 2021

Jobs saved as Yorkshire restaurant chain bought out of administration

Hundreds of jobs have been saved after Yorkshire-based Fazenda restaurant chain was bought out of administration.

Julian Pitts and Bob Maxwell of Begbies Traynor in Leeds were appointed joint administrators of City District Limited – which trades as the Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill alongside sister brand Picanha by Fazenda, on 1 March 2021.

A substantial part of the business and assets of City District Limited was acquired immediately following the administration appointment by Southern Wind Group Limited, saving 243 jobs.

Founded in 2010, the Huddersfield-based company operated six South American gaucho-style grilling and Rodizio dining restaurants under the Fazenda and Picanha brands.

The business has suffered from the impact of prolonged lockdowns and restrictions caused by COVID-19. This resulted in a significant build-up of landlord and HMRC arrears which could no longer be serviced without additional funding.

After a period of marketing undertaken by Begbies Traynor Group, a pre-packaged sale was agreed to Southern Wind Group Limited.

The new company, headed up by City District Limited’s former chief executive Terence Langley and managing director Tomás Maunier, will continue to trade as ‘Fazenda’ and will retain the Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool Fazenda sites, saving 243 jobs.

However, Fazenda Birmingham and Picanha Chester are not included in the deal and 69 staff will be made redundant.

“After more than 10 years of healthy trading, the Fazenda restaurant chain became yet another casualty of the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector,” said Mr Pitts.

“With the UK undergoing multiple lockdowns, together with social distancing measures and increased working from home, the restaurant trade has faced one of its toughest periods ever.

“It is good news for employees, customers and suppliers that most of the popular Fazenda eateries will re-open for business once the current restrictions are lifted. We wish them well for the future.”

Terence Langley, Chief Executive of Southern Wind Group Limited, said: “The pandemic has meant that we have had to regroup and review to navigate the current climate as best we can and put the business in good stead in order to come back strong.

“We have high hopes that Fazenda will find the right place in Birmingham to operate in the near future, and we can continue on the growth path planned pre-COVID.”

Addleshaw Goddard’s restructuring team in Leeds and Edinburgh advised the joint administrators throughout the sale process. Walker Morris in Leeds acted as advisers to Southern Wind Group.

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