Byron estate to be slashed as new investor takes control in cut-price rescue deal

 
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British-backed Byron Burger Chain Open For Business
Byron has 70 sites in the UK (Source: Getty)

A new investor is to take control of quality burger chain Byron as part of a rescue deal, closing several loss-making sites in the process.

Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) is set to become the majority shareholder by acquiring part of the stake held by current main investor Hutton Collins, according to Sky News.

New working capital has also been secured for the company, following a debt restructuring.

But cuts to Byron's 70-strong estate are still expected to start next year, 13 loss-making or marginal sites on the list to exit immediately. At least a dozen more could close after a review, bringing the total to be shuttered to 25.

Read more: Pret a Manger owner confirms Burger King UK franchise buyout

Sources suggested to Sky News that the deal valued Byron at a fifth of a previous valuation of £100m.

But the agreement appears to have been struck relatively quickly, as it was revealed under two months ago that Byron had opened a strategic review into ownership options.

The chain is now under the leadership of new CEO Simon Cope, following a period in which the company operated with no permanent boss after the departure of Andy Manders.

It is a difficult time for casual dining, especially the once fast-growing gourmet burger market which is now thought by many to be saturated. The CEO and COO of Byron's main rival GBK abruptly left the company last month after its disappointing results weighed on the share price of new owner Famous Brands.

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