Coffer Corporate Leisure announces the sale of Tootsies

October 12, 2009

Coffer Corporate Leisure can announce it has advised on the sale of 11 Tootsies restaurants to Giraffe Concepts, the restaurant group backed by private equity firms Risk Capital Partners and 3i, after the chain was placed into administration by Clapham House Group.

Giraffe, which is run by founding CEO Russell Joffe and chaired by RCP’s Luke Johnson, bought 11 of the 21 Tootsies branded restaurants for a reported consideration of £2.5m.

BDO LLP was appointed as administrator by Clapham House Group, which also operates Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek, after a decision to withdraw funding and support for the business. The sale of the sites will preserve approximately 25 full time and over 250 part time jobs.

Giraffe has 25 restaurants nationwide and a further five which are operated through franchise agreements with The Restaurant Group. The group will reportedly continue to operate the sites under a licence for the next few months before rebranding them as Giraffe.

David Page, Chairman of Clapham House Group, said: “We have taken these steps with great regret, having spent considerable time researching alternative strategic options for Tootsies. We believe that this is the best course of action to protect shareholder value whilst minimising job losses. Looking to the future the management team will focus on building the excellent reputation and strength of its two core brands, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek.”

Mark Sheehan, Managing Director of CCL, said: “Despite difficult trading conditions this portfolio attracted a lot of attention from leading operators proving that good locations can generate substantial interest even in a troubled market.

“We are seeing increased demand for restaurant groups reflecting that some confidence is coming back into the market. This deal demonstrates appetite from private equity players such as RCP and 3i to invest in leisure and this is the third private equity backed deal we have been involved with in recent weeks.”