The race to purchase Soho's infamous PR and media hangout the
Groucho Club has been won by the consortium led by club member Matthew
The group, which includes business associate Joel Cadbury, financier
Rupert Hambro and founder of the Pizza Express chain Hugh Osmond, is to
pay in the region of pounds 11.7m for the club, having declared their
offer 'wholly unconditional' last week.
The imminent conclusion of a deal comes after the Groucho board
reportedly advised members to reject a rival deal headed by
self-proclaimed 'It Girl' Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and hotelier Benjamin
Fry. It is understood the Freud-led bid is favoured since it is a cash
offer as opposed to the shares swap deal put forward by the latter
While Fry had aspirations of merging the Groucho brand with his Zoo
hotels chain and potentially opening a chain of Groucho hotels, Freud's
plans are likely to stick more closely to the club's traditions.
Indeed with media types at the helm, the acquisition resembles a case of
poacher turned gamekeeper, perhaps suggesting a return to the club's