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Mon 4th Mar 2019 - Exclusive: Ed’s and Giraffe to undergo CVA
Exclusive: Ed’s and Giraffe to undergo CVA: Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe, the two Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG)-owned brands, are set to undergo a restructure that could see about 20% of their combined 87 sites close, Propel has learned. Last month, Propel revealed BRG had appointed advisors KPMG to review options for its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains – a process that is still ongoing. As part of that, it is understood plans for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) could be announced later today (4 March), which would lead to sites operating across both brands facing closure. Propel understands BRG has agreed a new funding packaging to aid both brands’ continued turnaround, which would be made available on the condition of a successful CVA process. At the time of KPMG’s appointment, it was thought core parts of each brand were 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 that as part of the process the company has tentatively explored 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. None of the three are 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, and at the former Ed’s in Soho. Further Ed’s sites in 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.

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