Cipriani to Get New Lifeline With Money From Hedge Fund

King Street Capital Management is in advanced talks to refinance about $150 million of operating debt held by Cipriani’s U.S. subsidiary, according to people familiar with the matter.

That funding would retire loans dating back to 2018 from

Ares Capital Corp.

, a business-development company that lends to midsize businesses. King Street would also extend additional funding that would help the company grow its brand in the U.S., these people said.

Cipriani, which manages 11 Manhattan restaurants, lounges, clubs and event spaces, has long been associated with celebrities and glitzy nights out. New York City Mayor Eric Adams celebrated his election victory at Casa Cipriani, a luxury hotel and private members’ club on the downtown Manhattan waterfront that opened last September.

Cipriani’s New York restaurants and event spaces suffered during the pandemic, when public-health restrictions prevented restaurateurs from offering indoor dining for long stretches. It was also deluged with cancellations during a surge in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant, undermining its lucrative holiday-party and other big-event business.

Now, the Prosecco corks are popping again. Cipriani’s business has been recovering over the past several months as the aftereffects of the pandemic recede. The company recently opened the Bellini restaurant, the centerpiece of a soon-to-open Harry’s Table food market in Manhattan, named after the fizzy cocktail created in Venice by founder Giuseppe Cipriani Sr.

A view of Cipriani Wall Street as set for an event last month. Cipriani’s New York restaurants and event spaces suffered during the pandemic amid public-health restrictions.


Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Webby Awards

At the same time, Cipriani is working to restructure $53 million in mortgage debt backed by two of its properties on 42nd Street and Wall Street, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has been in default since May 2020 on the loan, which is packaged into bonds and was transferred that year to a special servicer, according to real-estate data firm Trepp.

Parent company Cipriani SA, meanwhile, has been expanding throughout the pandemic and now has restaurants, clubs and hotels in more than a dozen cities. The company has plans for another 20 openings world-wide in the next three years, including another Casa Cipriani in Milan in August, which will include a restaurant, lounge spa and hotel and have reciprocity membership with its New York location.

The far-flung hospitality company started with Harry’s Bar in Venice in the 1930s, where Mr. Cipriani served celebrities like Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway.

In April, the founder’s great-grandson and the company’s current chief executive, also named Giuseppe Cipriani, visited Miami to celebrate the launch of sales for Cipriani Residences Miami.

“This year we’re opening 16 new projects,” said Mr. Cipriani, between sips of a Negroni. “During the pandemic, instead of stopping, I traveled all over the world and we signed onto new projects. We’re very excited.”

Write to Kate King at [email protected]

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