2 Sisters owner Boparan has continued its push into casual dining, with the rescue of the GBK burger brand from administration.
Boparan Restaurant Group has bought the chain in a pre-pack administration deal after GBK appointed Deloitte to broker a rescue deal after a slump in trading due to the coronavirus crisis.
The deal includes 35 UK sites and will save 669 jobs from the previous network of 61 outlets and just over 1,000 employees.
The move constitutes the second Boparan rescue of a troubled casual dining chain during the coronavirus crisis, after it picked up Italian chain Carluccio’s from administration in May, buying 30 sites and saving around 800 jobs.
Gavin Maher, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “As with a number of dining businesses, the broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.
“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce.
“However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”
GBK joins Boparan’s casual dining stable including The Cinnamon Collection, Fishworks, Carluccio’s, Slim Chickens, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner. The purchase gives Boparan Restaurant Group a 99-strong portfolio of restaurants nationwide, with 32 franchised globally.
BRG will also continue GBK’s franchise partnership in the UAE.
BRG MD Satnam Leihal said: “We welcome the GBK team 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.”