Byron could face cut-price sale

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Byron burgers facing cut-price sale
Byron could be the latest restaurant chain to be sold in a cut-price deal in a further sign of the difficulties facing the casual dining sector.

Sky News​ has reported that some prospective buyers are proposing to pay just £25m for the group, which hired KPMG to launch a strategic review of the business in October.

It marks a stark drop from the £100m Byron’s owner Hutton Collins​ paid for the brand in 2013, when it had 34 sites.

The group has since doubled its estate to over 70, but has already shown signs that its expansion may have been overly optimistic.

Byron placed four sites on the market earlier this year, and Sky​ has reported that information distributed to potential bidders indicates that 13 of its sites are loss-making, with a further dozen marked for review.

It comes after Ed’s Easy Diner was bought out of pre-pack administration​ for just £8.75m last year, with the closure of 26 of its 59 restaurants. The company underwent an aborted sales process in 2015-16 when it was on the market for a mooted £90m.

Sky​ has reported that R Capital, which specialises in turning around troubled businesses, is understood to be one of several interested parties in talks with Byron’s owners.

The investment firm bought Little Chef out of administration in 2007 and sold the business for £15m​ in 2013.

Byron’s possible sale comes amid a headwind of financial pressures facing the restaurant sector this year, with businesses struggling with rising food costs, business rates and the National Living Wage.

Last week barbecue group Grillstock became the latest chain to fall in to administration,​ while Californian-inspired group Bel-Air ceased trading with the closure of its three London restaurants.

BigHospitality​ has contacted Byron for further comment.

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