AlixPartners has been appointed administrators for Barby Limited, Barbecoa’s parent company, with the immediate closure of its Piccadilly site just a year after it opened.
The original St Paul’s restaurant, which launched in 2010, continues to trade and has been bought back by One New Change Limited - a subsidiary of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group - saving 90 jobs.
Barby Limited posted a £0.54m loss in 2016, according to The Guardian, while the Jamie’s Italian chain recorded losses of £9.9m.
The group also pulled out of opening a third Barbecoa, at the Nova Victoria development, last year.
Jamie Oliver Group said in a statement: “We can confirm that Barby Limited has been placed into administration. AlixPartners has been appointed administrators for Barby Limited.
"One New Change Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, has purchased the assets and lease of Barbecoa St Paul’s and will be trading as normal.”
M Restaurants founder Martin Williams had previously expressed interest in buying the Barbecoa group. In a statement released to the press he said he had approached the company late last week in a bid to reach a 'mutually acceptable agreement'.
But AlixPartners said there were no 'viable commercial offers' made for the Piccadilly site, with 'limited interest' shown throughout the sales process.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to achieve a sale of all of the business as a going concern, however we are pleased to have been able to secure a transaction that allows the Barbecoa St Paul’s business to continue and preserves approximately 90 jobs at the restaurant," said Peter Saville of AlixPartners.
Oliver has already closed 12 of his 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants this year after creditors voted in favour of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).
There were signs of trouble at the chef’s restaurant empire in early 2017, when he shut six Jamie’s Italian sites and closed his final Union Jacks pizza restaurant – six years after its launch.
According to Colliers International the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group saw a 28% hike in its total business rates bill to £7.3m over the last year.
Other groups such as Byron have shut the doors on several of their high street sites this year at a time when operators are also struggling with rising wages and food costs.