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Fri 17th Jan 2020 - Exclusive: Handmade Burger Co placed on the market amid administration speculation
Exclusive – Handmade Burger Co placed on the market amid administration speculation: Handmade Burger Co has been placed on the market again amid speculation a failure to sell the business could see it enter administration, Propel has learned. Property firm Berrys has been appointed to market the business, which was acquired out of administration by Burger Chain in 2017. Burger Chain filed notice of its intention to appoint an administrator for the 19-strong chain during the festive period. In October, Burger Chain appointed CBRE to assess its options for the brand, including a possible sale of the business. However, no successful bids came forward. The Handmade Burger Co business has annual turnover of circa £11m, with current rent payable in the order of £1.731m per annum. A sales document seen by Propel shows sales across all the company’s sites, apart from the one in Intu Metrocentre in Gateshead, have declined during the past two years. Sales at its site in Birmingham’s Bullring fell from £1.4m in 2017 to £897,092 last year; sales at its site in Bath dropped from £658,092 in 2017 to £256,308 last year; while sales at its site in West Quay, Southampton, fell from £748,838 in 2017 to £394,221 in 2019. Its site in Meadowhall, Sheffield, remains the most profitable, with sales of more than £1.1m in 2019. The properties are held as leasehold and involve 13 separate landlords. Offers are being sought for all or parts of the business, with Burger Chain, trading as Handmade Burger Co, being sold as a going concern. It is understood expressions of interest are being sought no later than Wednesday, 22 January, with a view to completion by Wednesday, 29 January. In September Burger Chain and sister company The Burger Comp were served with compulsory strike-off notices, although these were discontinued the following day after cause had been shown why the company “should not be struck off the register”. The company closed its 80-cover restaurant in Deansgate, Manchester, in the autumn, with Rosa’s Thai Café taking on the unit for what will be its first site in the city and second in the north west. Handmade Burger Co currently operates sites in Aberdeen, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Glasgow Braehead, Glasgow St Vincent Street, Birmingham Brindleyplace, Birmingham Bullring, Leicester Highcross, Lincoln Brayford Wharf, Peterborough, Solihull Touchwood, Gateshead Metrocentre, Hull, Leeds Trinity, Sheffield Meadowhall, Bath, Bournemouth, Reading, Southampton West Quay and Wembley. Nine of the group’s sites closed under the insolvency process in 2017. A report by Companies House showed the then 20-strong chain was sold to Burger Chain out of administration for more than £1.45m.

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