Twenty Byron burger sites ‘at risk of closure’

10/01/2018 - 09:44
British restaurant group Byron Hamburgers Ltd may be forced to shut down twenty of its 67 UK restaurants under a new restructuring plan, Sky News has reported.

The ‘better burger’ chain has proposed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) aimed at slashing costs, following a strategic review of the business.

The company's owner Hutton Collins called in professional services firm KMPG in November to oversee a strategic review of its business.

Byron assured that no restaurants would close on day one of the CVA, and that its 1,800 employees, suppliers and business rates would continue to be paid on time and in full.

The reported restaurants at risk of closures are in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Camberley, Cardiff, Derby, Gateshead Metro Centre, Glasgow, Harrogate, Hoxton Square (London), Leicester, Manchester Corn Exchange, Manchester Deansgate, Spitalfields, Store Street (London), Stratford upon Avon, Wandsworth (London), Westbourne Grove (London), Windsor and Worcester.

Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG and proposed 'supervisor' of the CVA, said: “Over the last ten years, Byron has grown to become a stand-out name within the UK’s casual dining sector.

“However, in recent times, certain parts of its portfolio have not met expectations, and with gathering economic headwinds starting to impact the sector more profoundly, the directors embarked upon a strategic review of the business as a means of safeguarding its long-term future.

“As part of this strategic review, the directors have been successful in negotiating a financial restructuring with the company’s lenders and shareholders, which will enable new investment to come into the business.

“Completion of this financial restructuring is conditional on the approval of today’s CVA proposal, which is designed to tackle the cost of the company’s leasehold obligations across its UK restaurant portfolio.

“As with similar CVAs, this arrangement seeks to strike a balance which provides a fair compromise to landlords, while allowing the viable part of the business to move forward across a smaller, more profitable core estate.”

Byron operates from 67 leasehold restaurants across the UK. It holds a further nine non-operational leasehold sites including its head office in London

The company needs to secure at least 75% creditor approval for its CVA. The creditors will vote on the CVA on 31 January 2018.

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