Burger chain Byron's restructuring plans backed by creditors and landlords
Embattled burger chain Byron has won the backing of creditors and landlords over its restructuring plan which is set to spark store closures and hundreds of job losses.
Byron has tabled a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in an attempt to shore up its financial position by allowing it to shut loss-making restaurants and secure deep discounts on rental costs.
The overhaul received 99% backing during a meeting on Wednesday, paving the way for the potential closure of 20 restaurants across the country.
Will Wright, KPMG restructuring partner and joint CVA supervisor, said: "Today's creditor vote in favour of the CVA proposal will allow Byron to conclude its previously negotiated financial restructuring and is a key step in the directors' turnaround plan.
"As with all CVAs, more than 75% of creditors had to vote in favour in order to pass the resolution. Today's vote saw us secure significantly more than this majority with 99% of all voting creditors choosing to approve the CVA."
The CVA will see 51 Byron sites keep their rental costs the same, and five will have their rents reduced by a third.
A further 20 will have their rents cut by 45% for six months while the group holds crunch talks with landlords over the future of these sites.
As part of the sale process linked to Byron's restructuring, investment house Three Hills Capital Partners would become the biggest shareholder by snapping up half of Hutton Collins' stake.
Simon Cope, chief executive of Byron, said he was pleased with the "strong support" from the company's creditors.
He said: "Our landlords have been both understanding and positive throughout this process and we look forward to working proactively with them in the coming months.
"As a result of this restructuring process, a number of our restaurants will close and we will do everything possible to redeploy staff to other sites and initiatives.
"With the support of our new owners, Three Hills Capital, I'm confident that a new Byron can begin to take shape.
"Byron's brand and offer remains strong and distinctive, and with a smaller and more efficient restaurant estate we can continue to provide an outstanding burger experience for our customers and to develop and grow a sustainable and innovative business for the long term."
Jamie's Italian, the restaurant chain founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, announced earlier this month that it was seeking a CVA to help put the company on firmer financial ground.
Toys R Us UK successfully staved off the threat of administration in December when creditors backed its CVA plans, which triggered the loss of 800 jobs and the closure of 26 loss-making stores.