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Wed 2nd Sep 2020 - YO! secures CVA approval, to push on with new concept roll out
YO! secures CVA approval, to push on with new concept roll out: YO!, the global multi-brand, multi-channel Japanese food group, is to push on with the roll out of its new “kaiten” conveyor belt format to the rest of its estate, after securing approval for its company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The CVA, which was approved yesterday (Tuesday, 1 September), will see 19 of the brand’s 69 UK restaurants close and address nine sites YO! no longer operates but where the company is legally responsible for the rent. It will also result in up to 250 redundancies. Chief executive Richard Hodgson told Propel he was relieved the CVA had been approved and the jobs of 1,000 members of staff across the UK had been secured. He said: “Sadly we have had to say goodbye to 250 of our team members across the country, but I am relieved we have been able to protect as many jobs as possible, securing the future of 1,000 team members. There are some challenging weeks, indeed quarters ahead, and yesterday was certainly quieter than the previous week, with the Eat Out To Help Out scheme coming to an end. We have tried to be fair with our landlord partners, and we haven’t looked for any rent reductions through this process, just to exit those sites that had become unviable. There will be more challenges ahead but we are now in a better position to face them.” The company will now push on with converting the rest of its estate to its new “kaiten” conveyor belt format over the next few weeks. The company has so far reopened 35 of its UK restaurants, with 23 of those having the new format. Hodgson said: “We have been very happy with the feedback from consumers on the new concept. The sites we have converted are trading well and are delivering ahead of expectations.” YO!, which has been working with Deloitte to handle its restructuring, will now permanently close its sites in Bournemouth, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Chelmsford, Derby, Edinburgh airport, Finchley Road, Fulham Broadway, Gatwick airport, Glasgow Fort, Harrogate, Harvey Nichols London, Richmond, Russell Square, Southbank, Victoria station, Waterloo station, Westfield White City and Whiteley Village.

Domino's makes host of board appointments: Domino's Pizza Group will add Natalia Barsegiyan and Lynn Fordham to the board as independent non-executive directors, with effect from Wednesday, 16 September. They will be members of the nomination, remuneration and audit committees. Domino's has also announced Neil Smith, currently interim chief financial officer has been appointed as permanent chief financial officer and will also be joining the board at the same date. Barsegiyan retired as chief financial officer of Taco Bell, the $11bn revenue division of Yum! Brands in April 2020. Prior to this role, she was chief commercial officer for Yum! Brands from 2016 to 2018 and general manager of Pizza Hut Europe from 2013 to 2016. Barsegiyan joined Yum! Brands in 2006 and has also held senior finance roles across the Yum! portfolio, including as chief financial officer of Pizza Hut UK. Fordham is currently managing partner of private equity firm Larchpoint Capital, a position she has held since 2017. A chartered accountant, She was previously chief executive of SVG Capital from 2009 to 2017, having joined SVG as chief financial officer in 2008. Fordham has also held senior finance roles at Barratt Developments, BAA and Boots. Fordham served on the board of Fuller’s as a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee from 2011 to 2018. Smith joined as interim chief financial officer on 15 April and is a highly experienced chief financial officer, having most recently served as chief financial officer of Ei Group from 2011 until its recent takeover by Stonegate Pub Company. Smith became permanent chief financial officer at Domino’s with effect from 1 September and will join the board on Wednesday, 16 September. Chairman Matt Shattock said: “Since joining in March, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the business. Building a world class board that can help us reach our potential is an important priority, and I am delighted to welcome Natalia and Lynn as non-executive directors. Both have highly relevant experience and impressive track records of value creation. I am also very pleased to welcome Neil to the board. Neil has built upon the foundations laid by David Bauernfeind, bringing further rigour to the business and is a valued strategic partner to (chief executive) Dominic (Paul). These appointments mark an important milestone in the evolution of the board and I am looking forward to working with them. When I joined the business, I said Domino's had the potential to be an outstanding business, and my conviction in this belief has only strengthened. I have been very impressed with the resilience of our performance through the covid-19 lock-down period. Since their appointment, Dominic and Neil have made a significant positive impact, bringing leadership and energy to the group. I firmly believe we have an opportunity to drive sustainable profitable growth and create an exciting future for the benefit of our people, our franchisees and our shareholders, as well as the customers and communities we are privileged to serve.”

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