Mark Sargeant has resigned from the Gordon Ramsay group reports Bloomberg. Sargeant, 36 – who first joined Ramsay in the Aubergine days – will become creative director of the Swan Collection, which runs the Swan at The Globe, at Shakespeare’s Globe, and also the Swan at West Malling.
It appears that the split is more amicable than that with Marcus Wareing, once Gordon’s ‘right-hand man’, who left the group in a cloud of acrimony last year, and now cooks under his own name at the Berkeley Hotel.
Sargeant will continue helping on Ramsay’s television and publishing projects. He was until recently named as chef at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Claridges, until it emerged in the trade press that he was not, in fact, any longer discharging the function.
The difficulties which the Gordon Ramsay businesses have experienced in recent times are well known. What is perhaps less appreciated is that, contrary to the popular impression, uncertainty still hangs over the financial performance of the group.
This summer saw an unprecedented ‘on-time’ filing of the accounts of Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) for the year ended in 2008. The general excitement which accompanied this has tended to obscure the fact that another holding company (Gordon Ramsay Holdings International) had been established for many of the newer ventures (including in the UK), largely, it seems, funded through GRH.
No accounts for International have ever been filed, and the inaugural accounts are nearly four months overdue at Companies House. And, as we noted in August, Ramsay’s businesses are so inter-connected that, until you know the whole picture, you don’t really know anything at all.
PS (25 November) There is, it seems, no smoke without fire. The reason for the non-filing does seem to be continuing financial difficulties at two companies we believe to be subsidiaries of International.
At a court hearing today, Gordon Ramsay Plane Food – which operates his restaurant at Terminal 5 – was given 14 days grace to allow for a cheque to clear, reports caterersearch, while Gordon Ramsay Maze Ltd was given 63 days to pay off its debts. If affairs are not resolved, the companies may be put into receivership.
We have no idea of the particular circumstances in this case, but it is common for covenants to allow banks to call in the loan from any group company if any other member of the group is put into receivership.
PPS (26 November) Newspapers (such as today’s Express) continue to report the non-fact that: “documents filed at Companies House [in July] showed profits at Ramsay’s London restaurants fell by 87 per cent from £3.05million to just £383,325.”
They did no such thing. Those figures related only to the holding company for Ramsay’s longer-established London restaurants. The newer ones are all in a separate holding company, which has never filed account (which are now four months or so overdue).
Even when it comes to the London part of Ramsay’s empire, therefore, we’re still all effectively in the dark as to the results for last year.
We’ve never noted any effort on the part of Ramsay spokesmen to correct this widespread mis-impression, incidentally, which makes us wonder all the more what the overdue figures really do show.