Bird & Bird advises Café Rouge on Middle East expansion

22 January 2014

Bird & Bird's Franchising, Licensing and Multi-Channel strategies team has advised Café Rouge, part of the Tragus Group, the largest operator of some of the UK's best known restaurant brands including Bella Italia and Strada, on the grant of the group's first international franchise venture for Café Rouge in the UAE.

Diamond Lifestyle, one of the newest additions to the Middle East's lifestyle hospitality sector has been granted the Café Rouge franchise in the UAE ahead of the Expo 2020, which is set to make the region one of the leading Food & Beverage (F&B) destinations in the world.  Café Rouge has been operational in the UK for over 20 years, and currently has 126 restaurants.

The team from Bird & Bird was comprised of partners based in both the UK and the UAE, who advised Tragus Group on the structuring requirements of the franchise agreement as well as negotiating their entry into the Middle East market.

Graeme Payne, partner, Bird & Bird said: "We were thrilled to be appointed to advise on this acquisition. In the last few years members of Bird & Bird's team here have advised a considerable number of UK high street brands in the F&B sector on international expansions, and particularly the Middle and Far East, which are both fertile grounds for both well-known and growing UK brands."

Phil Derbyshire, Group Property Director, Tragus Group said: "As our first overseas venture, it was of huge importance to us to find the right advisers to work with. The decision to appoint Bird & Bird was based on both their international reach as well as the significant expertise of the Franchising team. We have been very pleased with the advice and guidance we have received from the team, and look forward to continuing the relationship."

The Bird & Bird team was comprised of Graeme Payne, Melissa Murray and Nicholas Green.