The acquisition by the Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) will include the GBK brand, 35 of the chain’s 67 trading sites across the UK and will save the jobs of more than 600 employees. BRG will also continue GBK’s franchise partnership in the United Arab Emirates.
Satnam Leihal, managing director at Boparan Restaurant Group said: “We welcome GBK colleagues to BRG. This latest acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our restaurant group with quality brands.
“Whilst it is an extremely challenging time for the sector, we believe quality hospitality businesses will recover in the long term as people return to eating out.”
GBK entered administration this week after falling victim to less than favourable trading conditions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since purchasing the brand in 2016, Famous Brands said the contribution by the burger chain to group profitability had taken longer than expected, hampered by pressure on consumer spending and high property rates.
Clive Black, Shore Capital head of research, said the purchase of GBK could bring some attractive sites and potential scale and synergy benefits to the Boparan restaurant business.
“Given all it has been through, one would expect a well-considered approach and a low asking price given all that is going on,” he added.
Significant presence in the sector
Rollits corporate finance director Julian Wild said the acquisition made sense for the Boparan group, given its significant investment in the restaurant and casual dining sector.
“However, these are very challenging times for that sector and it is a bold move to continue to invest in it,” Wild continued. “But the view may be taken by Boparan that it is a good time to acquire assets when the restaurant market is on its knees. That presupposes an upturn within the foreseeable future.”
The acquisition of GBK comes a week after 2 Sisters Food Group confirmed that it had sold part of Fox’s Biscuits to ‘a Ferrero-related company’ in a £246m deal.
The purchase of Fox’s will be the second European biscuit acquisition within 12 months by a Ferrero-related company