Costa Coffee boss is to join debt-laden Tragus
Costa Coffee is to get a new managing director after the head of the coffee shops chain quit to join Tragus, the debt-laden company behind the Café Rouge, Strada and Bella Italia restaurants.
Chris Rogers, the group finance director of Whitbread, which owns the the 2177-stores coffee specialist and the budget hotel chain Premier Inn, is to take the helm at Costa in August. Costa has posted more than 40 consecutive quarters of underlying sales growth.
Mr Rogers will replace John Derkach, who is leaving to be chief executive of Tragus, which last month refinanced its £230m debts to avoid an expected breach of its banking covenants.
The heavyweight hiring sparked renewed speculation that Whitbread may eventually seek to spin off Costa. But Andy Harrison, the chief executive of the group, said yesterday: "Costa has an exciting future within Whitbread and Chris will spearhead our ambitious growth plans."
Shore Capital estimates Costa could potentially be worth more than £1bn, or £6 a Whitbread share.
The private-equity giant Blackstone, which has owned Tragus since 2006, pumped £15m into the company to reduce its overall debt pile in March.
The refinancing saw the 295-restaurants company given more headroom on its debts and the full backing of its lenders, including ICG, although Tragus paid a fee of £1.1m for the loan agreement and faces higher interest payments.
Costa, which has nearly 1,400 stores in the UK, grew its total by 25 per cent over the 50 weeks to 16 February.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...