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Thu 7th Feb 2019 - Boparan appoints advisor for Ed's and Giraffe, Mark Wingett joins Propel
Boparan reviews options for Giraffe and Ed’s: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has appointed advisors to review options for its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains, Propel has learned. The company, which is led by Tom Crowley, has started working with KPMG on its options for the two national restaurant brands. It is thought core parts of each respective brand are trading in line with the wider market but one option would be a consolidation of each estate with a number of disposals. It is also thought as part of the process, which is at an early stage, the company will also tentatively explore the sale of both brands, together or separately. BRG acquired the then 54-strong Giraffe business from Tesco in summer 2016 in a deal valued at circa £13m. Later that same year, the company paid almost £10m to acquire 30 Ed’s Easy Diner sites in a pre-pack administration agreement. The company brought the brands together in early 2017, rebranding and relaunching them with new menus and designs while adding assisted service and quick-service options. Last year the businesses were merged, with turnover across the new single entity believed to be circa £61.7m for the year to the end of 2018. BRG also operates the Harry Ramsden and Fishworks brands and has the master franchise for the Slim Chickens concept in the UK. All three aren’t thought to be included in the KPMG-led process. In January 2018, BRG partnered with Slim Chickens USA to bring the fast-casual, fresh chicken brand to the UK market. It debuted in the UK at a former Guerilla Burgers site in London’s James Street and has since opened its first regional site, in Cardiff. Further Ed’s sites in Soho, Liverpool and Birmingham have been earmarked for conversion to the Slim Chickens brand as well as a Giraffe restaurant in Chelmsford. Last year, BRG said it was looking to expand the brands into Europe as it sought master franchisees or area developers. Last September, the company entered into a partnership with Tesco to launch debut retail ranges for Giraffe and Ed’s. A variety of world dishes from Giraffe and US-inspired desserts from Ed’s Easy Diner are now available to buy in more than 300 Tesco stores nationwide as well as online.

Mark Wingett joins Propel tomorrow: Former MCA editor Mark Wingett will join Propel as insights editor tomorrow (Friday, 8 February). Wingett will write regular insight columns and exclusives for our Premium subscribers and work on a number of new projects. His first piece will cover his views on the current state of the sector and will go to Premium readers at 5pm tomorrow. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark on board. I worked with him for a period at MCA and have a huge regard for his peerless industry understanding and unmatched ability to access the stories behind the stories.” Wingett added: “I am looking forward to working with Paul and the team at Propel and building on its position as the most widely read industry newswire.” Propel Premium subscribers receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, access to our database of 1,300 multi-site companies, regular videos featuring insights from industry executives, and discounts to attend Propel conferences and events. An annual premium subscription costs £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers – plus £50 each for additional team members. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com to sign up or call her on 01444 817691. Mark can be contacted at mark.wingett@propelinfo.com

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