TV chef Gino D’Acampo’s eponymous restaurant chain has gone bust after it recently came to light that the business is in crippling debt, owing a creditor over £5 million.
The chain of Italian eateries – formerly known as Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants Ltd – has only just been revealed as owing millions to a creditor, despite being declared financially sound last year.
The mystery around the case has caused liquidators from Azet Holdings to launch an investigation looking into the conduct of major stakeholders, as well as why important company documents have gone missing. The in-depth investigation is expected to cost at least £150,000.
The company’s main stakeholders are Gino, who owns 10 per cent, and Individual Restaurants Group Ltd, which owns 75 per cent of the business. IRG is owned by Iceland founder Malcolm Walker and its CEO Tarsem Dhaliwal.
Last year, IRG and two directors declared the company solvent and able to pay its debts. However, a creditor has suddenly stepped on the scene claiming to be owed £5.4 million.
It’s not been a good year for the chef so far. The news comes after Gino quit his show with Gordon Ramsay and First Dates star Fred Sirieix due to being caught in possession of cannabis by Border Force sniffer dogs. He was caught with the illegal substances when flying back to Britain in Gordan Ramsay’s private jet after filming in Spain.
The major cost of the investigation suggests that liquidators intend to carry out a thorough and rigorous study, according to liquidation expert and Insolvency Practitioner Elliot Green. He said: ‘Plainly it seems they consider there is a substantial amount of investigation work for them to unscramble. Their fee estimate appears to include provision for the possibility of some legal action although they do say no such actions have been decided upon.’
Gino’s PR and IRG have not yet commented on the case.
Hungry for Italian food? Here are London's best Italian restaurants to curb your carb cravings.