New owners keeping Westfield restaurant but not interested in Hammersmith
Byron Burger on Hammersmith Grove. Picture: Google Streetview
The upmarket burger chain looks set to permanently close its Hammersmith branch after it was excluded from a deal between the administrators and new owners. However the outlet in the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush has been acquired as part of the deal.
KPMG have arranged to sell 20 of the chain’s 51 branches to Calveton UK including five in London however the remaining 31 are now expected to close leading to the loss of 651 jobs. 24 of the closures will be in the capital including the branches in Chiswick and Putney.
The chain’s existing investors are to retain a minority stake in the new company as part of the deal.
Will Wright from KPMG, said, “In common with so many other companies across the leisure and casual dining industries, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Byron has been profound.
“After exploring а number of options to safeguard the future of the business and following а competitive sales process, this transaction ensures Byron will continue to have а presence on our high streets.”
KPMG restructured the business in 2018 when the Chiswick branch avoided closure and investment firm Three Hills Capital Partners became the biggest shareholder. The number of branches was reduced from 67.
Byron was set up after Tom Byng spent a four year stint in America as a student where he "ate enough hamburgers to sink the Titanic." When he returned to London in 2007, he felt there weren't any restaurants offering burgers like those at his favourite American diner, The Silver Top. He is sometimes referred to as the "bourgeois Burger King."
The restaurant was named partly after the poet, and partly because 'byron' is Old English for cowshed.
The struggling group will close 31 of its 51 restaurants after being bought in a pre-pack rescue deal by Calveton UK.
Administrators at KPMG said that the brand and certain assets have been sold to the company to protect its 20 remaining sites and 551 employees. The chain’s existing investors will also take a minority stake as part of the deal.
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August 3, 2020