Joel Muckett 10 Jan 2018 02:32pm

KPMG to supervise Byron restructure

KPMG has been appointed to supervise the restructuring of struggling burger chain Byron, it was announced yesterday
Caption: KPMG will manage the restructuring of a burger chain
The restaurant group plans to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) – a legally binding agreement with creditors to avoid administration or liquidation – which may give the business space to reorganise or restructure its funding or operations.

“Over the last 10 years, Byron has grown to become a standout name within the UK’s casual dining sector,” said KPMG restructuring partner and proposed supervisor of the CVA Will Wright.

“However, in recent times, certain parts of its portfolio have not met expectations, and with gathering economic headwinds starting to impact the sector more profoundly, the directors embarked upon a strategic review of the business as a means of safeguarding its long-term future.”

Under the proposal, Byron will look to strike a deal with landlords to pay a reduced rent – equivalent to 55% – on 20 restaurants for a period of six months.

Wright stressed that there would be no immediate closure of restaurants, with employees, suppliers and business rates continuing to be paid on time and in full.

To begin the CVA, the restaurant group will need to secure at least 75% creditor approval at a vote scheduled to take place on 31 January.

According to Sky News, the CVA is crucial to the future of Byron as the firm secured a deal with Three Hills Capital Partners last month, which will make the private equity firm a majority shareholder should creditors vote for restructuring of its property interests.

KPMG said it would hold talks with creditors over the next two weeks to ensure they understand the full details of the proposal.

In recent years, retailers and restaurants on the high street have struggled with consumer spending hitting new lows and increased competition from online retailers such as Amazon.

On Monday, research from Deloitte found retail administrations increased for the first time in five years, with 118 retailers going into administration in 2017 – an increase of 28% from 2016.