Gino D'Acampo Restaurant Chain Investigation: £5M Debt, Missing Documents, and Stakeholder Conduct Under Scrutiny

The Staff Canteen

Celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo is facing an investigation into his restaurant chain, following it's financial collapse and eyewatering level of debt.

An inquiry has been initiated to investigate the reasons behind the financial collapse of the Gino D'Acampo restaurant chain, which accumulated over £5 million in debt.

The story reported in The Sun newspaper revealed that Azets Holdings, the appointed liquidators, has begun the investigation, which is expected to cost at least £150,000.

The focus of the inquiry will be on the missing company documents and the actions of key stakeholders.

Previously known as Gino D'Acampo Worldwide Restaurant Limited, the company changed its name to IRG (OLD) WWR Limited in January 2022.

Despite being declared solvent in April of that year, joint liquidators were appointed in July. Azets has expressed uncertainty regarding the sudden appearance of a creditor who claims £5.38 million from the company.

The investigation will delve into the exclusion of the debt owed to Gino D'Acampo from the initial paperwork, the location of the company's books and records, and the behavior of major stakeholders leading up to the liquidation.

The Sun reported that the major shareholders are Gino D'Acampo himself, who owns a 10% stake, and Individual Restaurants Group (IRG), which acquired a 75% stake in 2019.

The liquidators have already conducted interviews with directors and creditors as part of their ongoing investigation, but the details remain undisclosed to avoid prejudicing the case.

A report on the directors' conduct has been submitted to the government and is currently confidential. Azets estimates that their total fees for the investigation will amount to approximately £275,000, considering the extent of the work they deem necessary.

Before becoming part of Individual Restaurants Group in 2019, Gino D'Acampo Worldwide Restaurants operated five Italian restaurant locations.

Additionally, in January 2022, Gino D'Acampo's My Pasta Bar business entered liquidation, although D'Acampo asserted that it was unrelated to his other restaurants.

Following the liquidation, five Gino D'Acampo My Restaurant sites were rebranded under Individual Restaurants' Riva Blu brand.

Since then, Gino D'Acampo has partnered with hotel groups Melia and Marriott International to open new sites across the country.

In November 2020, Individual Restaurants was sold to Ice Acquisitions, controlled by the founder of Iceland supermarket chain, for over £40 million.

Representatives for Individual Restaurants and Gino D'Acampo have been contacted for comment, but no response has been provided thus far.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th June 2023

Gino D'Acampo Restaurant Chain Investigation: £5M Debt, Missing Documents, and Stakeholder Conduct Under Scrutiny