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Fri 28th Aug 2020 - Muffin Break UK franchise holder sold in pre-pack administration
Muffin Break UK franchise holder sold in pre-pack administration: Foodco UK, the UK franchise holder of the cafe brand Muffin Break, has been sold out of administration, saving almost 700 jobs. The deal sees 59 of the sites remain open. Muffin Break, which is headquartered in Cambridge, specialises in made-on-the-premises fresh food and drinks. Its first UK store opened in Derby in 2001 and it has since grown its franchise network to establish locally owned cafes on high streets nationwide. Advisory firm FRP has been working with Foodco UK in recent weeks to restructure its operations after the business and its franchised network were forced to close during the covid-19 lock-down. Steven Ross and Tonya Allison, of FRP, were appointed joint administrators on Friday (28 August). On appointment, the joint administrators completed the pre-pack sale of the business and its assets to Foodco UK Franchising. This included the novation of independent franchises and resulted in the transfer of 59 of the 60 cafes across the UK in a move that secures the future of almost 700 jobs. Michael Arbuckle, director at Foodco UK Franchising, said: “The Muffin Break brand has seen substantial investment from the individual franchisees and, importantly, this deal ensures the continuity of their businesses. The past few months have created challenges that no one in the leisure and hospitality industry could have foreseen at the beginning of this year and we are very grateful for the support and understanding of our landlords and other key stakeholders during what has been a very testing time. We actively engaged with these groups early on and their support of this sale ensures we’re now on a stronger footing and confident about the future opportunities for Muffin Break. More importantly, this sale also means more than 50 franchisees will continue to play a part in their local communities.” Allison said: “Before the pandemic, the business had been trading profitably and was targeting an ambitious growth strategy. However, the volatility and restrictions arising from the coronavirus pandemic saw the closure of its stores and this severely impacted trade and cash flow. This sale helps retain an established high street brand and indirectly saves almost 700 jobs, which is a huge positive in what is a very tough time for the high street.”

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