Le Pain Quotidien USA
Le Pain Quotidien (“LPQ”) is a Belgium-based, international chain of bakery-café restaurants that blends elements of casual restaurant dining and grab-and-go service. LPQ entered the U.S. market in 1997 by establishing PQ New York, Inc. (“LPQ U.S” or the “Company”), operating 98 wholly-owned U.S.-based restaurants
LPQ experienced years of success and growth in the U.S. market until revenue and earnings began to decline as the result of operational and management changes. The Company was in the process of implementing restructuring initiatives when the COVID-19 outbreak caused a complete shutdown of all locations. LPQ’s financial situation quickly deteriorated, inhibiting its ability to achieve the restructuring objectives and threatening its survival.
SSG was retained in March 2020 with just a few weeks to find a going concern buyer and avoid liquidation. SSG’s accelerated marketing process produced multiple bids despite several obstacles including the pandemic lockdown, the Company’s total lack of liquidity, limited access to diligence, and contemporaneous European restructuring efforts by the Belgian parent. Aurify Brands successfully negotiated for the U.S. franchising rights, provided interim and debtor in possession financing and acquired the Company in a private Section 363 sale. SSG’s special situations expertise and significant experience in the food and beverage industry enabled LPQ U.S. to complete a complex and extremely challenging expedited transaction that maximized value for all stakeholders.