Phoenix to sell Gaucho stake

Gaucho Grill is set to change ownership for the third time in three years as Phoenix Equity Partners, a UK mid-market private equity firm, considers a sale of the Argentine steak house chain for approximately £120m (US$243m).

According to The Times, mezzanine finance provider Intermediate Capital Group is in talks regarding a buyout of the chain, which abandoned a stock market listing last month. Phoenix was expected to have generated £25m from a flotation.

The report said that Phoenix is considering selling its 45% stake but management, led by founder and chief executive Zeev Godik, would roll over their combined holding of 55%.

ICG will provide mezzanine finance and a small amount of equity as well as sourcing senior debt funding.

Phoenix acquired Gaucho Grill in August 2006 in a £55m secondary buyout from Barclays Private Equity, which had itself only acquired the business in January 2005 for a reported £23.5m.