Restaurant chain Bistrot Pierre acquired in pre-pack deal

Wed, 15 Jul 2020 | BUSINESS SALE

Restaurant chain Bistrot Pierre has been acquired in a pre-pack administration deal which will see six of its locations close. 19 of Bistrot Pierre’s restaurants have been acquired by a new firm, Bistrot Pierre 1994, said to be backed by the chain’s chairman, John Derkach, and chief executive Nick White.

Will Wright and Steve Absolom of KPMG were appointed joint administrators for the company yesterday, immediately concluding the sale of the business and certain assets to the connected new company. While the deal will see 682 jobs preserved, the six site closures will lead to 123 staff being made redundant.

Joint administrator Steve Absolom said: “COVID-19 and the prolonged lockdown period has presented large swathes of the casual dining sector with significant funding challenges, and Bistrot Pierre has been far from immune.”

“Despite exploring all alternative options, including relief schemes like the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, the directors took the difficult decision to file for the appointment of administrators.”

“We are pleased to have been able to conclude a transaction which preserves the majority of the business and associated jobs, ensuring the chain’s 25-year presence on local high streets can continue.”

The Nottingham-based company was founded by John Whitehead and Robert Beacham in 1994 and operated 25 French-style bistro restaurants throughout the UK. In its most recent accounts, to the year ending June 30 2019, the company reported turnover of £34.5 million, with pre-tax losses standing at £678,465.

The company’s restaurants have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with staff placed on furlough, but it has begun a staged reopening. Seven locations have reopened so far, with more to open by the end of July and further locations in August. The locations to close are in Bath, Cardiff, Harrogate, Leicester, Middlesbrough and Sheffield.

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