Camino secures future with sale to co-founders

RSM has helped Camino, the Spanish tapas restaurant and bar group, to secure a rescue deal allow the business to continue serving customers from its four restaurants and two bars preserving 77 jobs. Camino Trading Limited, a newly incorporated company run by co-founders Nigel Foster and Richard Bigg, has agreed to acquire the business and assets from the Administrators of Camino Leisure Holdings Limited and Camino Restaurants Limited (the group’s operating entity) following an accelerated sales process.

Launched in 2007 to bring authentic and creative food and drink experiences from Spain to its UK customers, Camino quickly grew in popularity with its combination of high-quality menus, clear proposition and a passionate brand, expanding to four sites in central London.

The business had ceased trading following the closure all sites with the Covid-19 lockdown in March. The lifting of restrictions enabled a reopening of all sites in July and August, however the shift to home working drastically reduced footfall across central London locations and demand from office workers, the group’s key consumer group. The directors reduced the cost base and drew on the Government support measures available to the business; however, trade was further hampered by the 10pm curfew (resulting in a further loss of critical late evening customers). The continued uncertainty and a lack of effective sector support led to the need for the directors to seek a restructuring solution.

After exploring other alternatives, restructuring advisors RSM launched an accelerated sales process which received interest however resulted in only one offer being made for the business and assets.

Managing Director Richard Bigg and co-founder Nigel Foster will continue to lead Camino, with the backing of their experienced management team.

Richard Bigg, Managing Director of Camino, said: ‘Camino was born from a love of bars and restaurants combined with a passion for Spain. Despite Covid-19, our amazing team has made an outstanding effort to continue bringing our vibrant Spanish flavours to the UK. I’m hugely grateful for the team’s commitment and resilience and with the future support of our key stakeholders including our valued suppliers and landlords, we look forward to successfully continuing the Camino story.”

Damian Webb, Joint Administrator, RSM said: ‘Despite the commendable support provided by the Government, the pandemic and associated lockdown measures have presented significant challenges to the casual dining industry. Whilst trading remains difficult, this deal has secured 77 jobs and will allow the Camino brand to stabilise and grow when market conditions improve.’