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Burger chain Byron reaches deal to sell itself, resulting in 651 job losses

Fri, 31st Jul 2020 22:36

By Kanishka Singh and Vishal Vivek

July 31 (Reuters) - British burger chain Byron reached a
deal to sell itself and in the process is permanently closing
over half of its 51 outlets, as well as cutting 651 jobs, the
company's administrators said on Friday.

Under the rescue deal, the remaining 20 sites and 551 staff
will transfer to a new owner, Calverton UK, according to the
emailed statement.

"After exploring a number of options to safeguard the future
of the business and following a competitive sales process, this
transaction ensures Byron will continue to have a presence on
our high streets," said Will Wright, an administrator at KPMG
who sold the chain.

No financial details of the deal were disclosed but the
administrators said that Byron's existing investors will take a
minority stake in the business.

The development comes as the coronavirus outbreak has taken
a toll on restaurants and restaurant chains across the world due
to government restrictions on people's movements as well as
consumer fears about large public gatherings.

Earlier this month, Azzurri Group, the owner of Zizzi and
Ask Italian restaurant chains, reached a deal to close 75 of its
branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk in the middle of the
pandemic.

Britain's death toll from COVID-19 is over 55,000 when
deaths from suspected cases are included, and it has the highest
"excess death" rate in Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday postponed a planned
easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England after a rise in
infections amplified fears of a second deadly surge in COVID-19
cases.

Britain reported 846 new cases on Thursday, the highest
daily number in over a month.

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru
Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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