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Naveen Handa, of Newcastle based hotel, bar and restaurant company the Cairn Group, has sealed a deal for the Richoux brand and intellectual property rights with the assistance of the specialist Leisure and Hospitality team from Mincoffs Solicitors.

Richoux was launched in London in 1909 as a patisserie and confectioner, with the original tea room being based in London’s Baker Street.

The two founders sought to fuse French heritage with British surroundings, sourcing all its teas and ingredients from select suppliers.

The restaurants later became owned by Richoux Group PLC, which was listed on London’s AIM market until February 2019 before returning to private ownership under Dining Street.

Ahead of the pandemic, Richoux had restaurants in London and Port Solent.

Mr Handa, part of the family firm which has grown to become one of the UK’s premium leisure groups, with a portfolio of 32 hotels and over 30 bars and restaurants across the UK, said he now aims to grow the Richoux name.

He said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to develop this much loved, century old brand and continue to elevate for the future expansion, both in the UK and globally.”

Chris Hughes, Partner in Mincoffs’ Corporate team led advice to Mr Handa on the deal.

Chris commented: “It was a pleasure for us to assist Naveen on his purchase of the Richoux brand assets, saving a well-known brand during a difficult period for the hospitality industry. We wish Naveen the best of luck relaunching Richoux.”

Mr Handa said: “My family have worked with Mincoffs for 3 generations and working with Chris has been brilliant. His critical thinking helped structure the deal so that it could be completed within the parameters set. I look forward to working with him again on the next deal.”

The deal was concluded by sales agents AG&G and joint administrators from Interpath Advisory – the former restructuring practice of KPMG – who were appointed over Dining Street Limited and its two subsidiaries, Richoux Limited and Newultra Limited.

Steve Absolom, joint administrator at Interpath Advisory said: “Since our appointment as administrators, we have been struck by the strong affection held for the Richoux brand by customers and people working across the hospitality industry alike, and so we’re delighted to have completed the sale of this iconic brand to Naveen Handa.”

Will Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory, said: “As restaurants up and down the country start to welcome diners back, we are delighted to have secured these agreements.

“Indeed, despite these being incredibly tough times for the hospitality industry, the level of interest we have received for the Dining Street group’s business throughout the administration has been extremely positive, underlying the strong appetite from operators to provide quality casual dining experiences to consumers as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”

This acquisition is the latest of a series of rescue deals in the hospitality industry that Mr Handa has been part of, including the rescue of Vapiano’s UK restaurants and the acquisition of the East Coast Concepts, Neighbourhood and Victors bars and restaurants.

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