How we helped

Tragus was the company formed to lead a management buy-in of restaurant sites spun off from hospitality group, Whitbread.

Sales & marketing:

  • We worked closely with the MBI team to develop Café Rouge and Bella Italia as leading family brands in the casual dining-out sector.
  • To support this additional capital was provided to refurbish the existing estate and open new sites. Tragus also consolidated the Group’s property portfolio, removing 50% of dormant properties from its portfolio.
  • The business also extended opening hours to offer all-day menus at both Café Rouge and Bella Italia, as well as increasing the number of restaurants with outdoor dining facilities across all brands.

Following a strong period of growth, with EBITDA trebling from £4.2m in 2002 to £13m in 2004, ECI sold its stake in Tragus in 2005 to L&G Ventures, delivering a return of 5.3x.