Deal Announcement 06/20: Retail & Consumer

PwC acted as exclusive financial advisor to the insolvency administrators
Dr. Ruth Rigol and Stefan Conrads of PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH on the sale of material German and international activities of Vapiano to a group of private investors consisting of Mario C. Bauer, the Van der Valk family, Sinclair Beecham, Henry McGovern and Gregor Gerlach

The Deal

The German PwC M&A team is pleased to announce the successful sale of material German and international activities of Vapiano to a group of private investors. After a period of strong growth, Vapiano faced several strategic and operational challenges including an international expansion with disappointing results. Consequently, a restructuring process was initiated by the Vapiano management. As the COVID-19 crisis also led to temporary restaurant closures, Vapiano SE as well as selected subsidiaries in Germany and internationally had to file for insolvency. Attorneys at law Dr. Ruth Rigol and Stefan Conrads (both PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH) were appointed as (preliminary) insolvency administrators.

PwC was mandated to run a structured and accelerated sales process involving both strategic and financial investors. As a result, 30 corporate restaurants and shares in selected joint ventures in Germany as well as the international franchise and trademark rights were sold to a group of private investors with extensive experience in the franchise sector. The international sale process was concluded in less than eight weeks.


Vapiano is a German operator and franchisor of fast-casual dining restaurants for Italian cuisine. The restaurant concept is based on quality, fresh ingredients and transparency. Pasta is made by hand every day at each restaurant and dishes are prepared in front of guests and according to their wishes. In 2002, the company opened its first restaurants in Hamburg, Germany, and went public through an IPO in 2017. Vapiano operates its restaurants as corporate, franchise or joint venture restaurants worldwide. As of 31 December 2019, the company served its guests with live cooked Italian cuisine in more than 230 stylish restaurants.

PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH

PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH was founded in 1982 and has about 500 employees in Germany, Spain and Italy. The company provides advice on all issues concerning business law, actively supports companies during the restructuring process and manages insolvency proceedings. PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH is one of the leading firms specialised in restructuring and turning around companies, as demonstrated by rankings and awards from INDat, JUVE, WirtschaftsWoche, Focus, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal, ACQ 5 Law Award and M&A Today Global Award.

Mario C. Bauer

Mario C. Bauer was responsible for national and international expansion at Vapiano for almost a decade. Together with his team he opened 200 restaurants in 33 countries. After leaving the Management Board, he founded the organic ketchup brand Curtice Brothers with partners, which he continues to manage with his team.

Van der Valk family

In 1929 Martinus and Riet Van der Valk laid the foundation for the family business. Today, more than 100 hotels and restaurants worldwide belong to the company, in which each business unit has always been run by a family member. The first hotel in Germany was opened in Moers in 1986. Since 2008 Van der Valk International has been a franchisee of Vapiano in the Netherlands.

Sinclair Beecham

Sinclair Beecham opened the first shop of the sandwich brand Pret a Manger in London together with Julian Metcalfe in 1986, changing the way office workers eat lunch in the financial metropolis. The brand is famous for its freshness and sustainability standards, its employee culture, and its social commitment. Today more than 500 branches worldwide are part of JAB Holding. Sinclair Beecham also founded the Hoxton Hotel in London in 2006, which he successfully sold to Ennismore in 2012.

Henry McGovern

The American Henry McGovern came to Poland after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the nineties and founded the company AmRest, which under his leadership, became one of the most expanding chain restaurant operators in Europe. The portfolio includes global brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King as well as Starbucks, the Spanish concept La Tagliatella and the originally French chain Sushishop. In 2019, the number of restaurants grew up to 2,300 and sales reached almost 2 billion euros. McGovern left the company in 2019 to devote himself to new projects.

Gregor Gerlach

Gregor Gerlach is a 'Vapianist' of the first hour and has been associated with the brand since its foundation in 2002. He also launched the fast-casual concepts Bagel Brothers and Burgerlich. His portfolio includes the steakhouse concept meatery and numerous hotels (including Seaside).


The global PricewaterhouseCoopers network is a worldwide association of independent auditing and consulting companies which together employ more than 250,000 people in 158 countries. Our global network comprises nearly 1,550 M&A professionals all over the world, realising approx. 400 successful transactions per year. We specialise in a wide range of independent M&A services including advice on acquisitions and disposals, mergers, public takeovers, privatisations as well as structured financing.

PwC M&A Germany acted as exclusive financial advisor to the insolvency administration PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH on this transaction. The transaction was led by Timo Klees (Partner), Dr. Alexander von Friesen (Partner), and executed by Josef Spanidis (Senior Manager), Fabian Dalka (Senior Manager), Lukas Filippinetti (Senior Associate), Sebastian Leker (Associate) and Maximilian Lazzeri (Associate).

Deal Announcement 06/20: Retail & Consumer

Contact us

Timo Klees

Timo Klees

Partner, Head of Corporate Finance | M&A Distressed & Special Situations, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 151 10060451

Dr. Alexander von Friesen

Dr. Alexander von Friesen

Partner, Corporate Finance | M&A Healthcare & Consumer, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 151 11714398

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