Giraffe restaurant closures as CVA agreed

The creditors of Giraffe Concepts Ltd, the operator of the Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe restaurant brands, have approved its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will see around a third of the sites close, putting hundreds of jobs at risk

The business, owned by Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), first put forward the plan earlier this month.

Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG and joint supervisor of the CVA, said: ‘This is a critical step forward for the business, allowing Giraffe Concepts to complete its financial restructuring plan and embark on a comprehensive operational transformation programme.’

KPMG reported a ‘significant majority’ of all voting creditors choosing to approve the CVA, surpassing the 75% total required in order to pass the resolution.

The company currently holds 70 sites, of which 13 would see a rent reduction under the terms of the CVA, and a further 27 would face closure.

Tom Crowley, chief executive of Giraffe’s parent company BRG said: ‘We are pleased to announce that the CVA has been approved and we can now begin to execute our plan. We thank our creditors who have supported the business through this process.’

BRG has a number of other brands in the group, which are not affected are affected by the restructuring under CVA. Unaffected brands include Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip chain, Slim Chickens and the Fishworks, as well as the upscale Cinnamon Collection chain of contemporary Indian restaurants in London.

The Giraffe and Ed’s Diner closures are the latest in a string of lease rearrangements and debt restructuring among casual dining groups. In recent months, chains including Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Polpo have all sought debt restructuring arrangements, while in February chef Jamie Oliver hired consultancy AlixPartners to seek further funding for his troubled Jamie’s Italian chain.

Report by Pat Sweet

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