The Competition Authority has unconditionally authorized the takeover of the Courtepaille brand and its 237 restaurants in mainland France by the British investment company TDR Capital, already owner of the Buffalo Grill group (349 restaurants in France, in Spain and Switzerland), the leading chain of restaurants specializing in meat in France.
Restaurant chains weakened by the Covid
The decision of the competition police, published on December 24, endorses an operation that had already been validated at the end of September by the commercial court of Évry and which followed the placement in receivership of Courtepaille in July.
Owned by ICG, another British fund, the restaurant brand, at worst because of the Covid-19 crisis, had opted for recovery after being refused a loan guaranteed by the state.
TDR Capital won against the Bertrand group (Flo, Léon de Bruxelles, Burger King, Hippopotamus…) by offering 17 million euros for the takeover.
This fund also owns the Pizza Express chain and the Center Parcs holiday villages, present in several countries in Europe and in the United Kingdom.
Thoroughly modernize the brand
With nearly 600 restaurants under two well-established brands, Buffalo Grill and Courtepaille together have an impressive strike force, employing nearly 12,000 employees before the crisis for a cumulative turnover of around 800 million euros in 2019. .
At the end of October, before the second confinement, TDR Capital had announced that it wanted to overhaul Courtepaille's marketing by thoroughly modernizing the brand and its concept and by improving the level of service, in particular thanks to digital.
The fund then said it wanted to invest 80 million euros in this direction, as it did before to relaunch Buffalo Grill, bought in 2018.