The TV chef’s holding company is likely to lose much of the £57.7m that was owed it.
KPMG , administrators for Jamie Olivers collapsed Restaurant Chain have said that most of the £80m it owed after its collapse last May will not be recovered, the losses will affect both secured and unsecured creditors, The administrator indicated that, while it had continued to run three of the chain’s restaurants and to chase down debtors in a bid to return as much as possible, the deficit was still likely to be severe.
Jamie’s Italian launched in 2008 shortly before a private equity fuelled boom in the sector that propelled expansion among rivals. In its last set of accounts, the chain reported a £31.1m loss before tax in 2017, citing “a marked deterioration in UK consumer confidence” and “increased competition from new entrants”.
Those expected to bear the brunt of the losses include hundreds of suppliers, as well as some town councils. Oliver’s holding company is likely to lose much of the £57.7m that the chain owed it, while the lender HSBC is also expected to “suffer a significant shortfall”.
About 1,000 jobs were lost when the administrators were appointed last year and almost all of it restaurants were closed. At the time, Oliver thanked staff and suppliers, saying they had “put their hearts and souls into the business”.
The celebrity chef said: “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected. We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”
In its report, KPMG said: “The secured creditors will likely suffer a significant shortfall … Based on current estimates, we anticipate that a distribution will be made to the unsecured creditors. However, we are not yet able to confirm the quantum or timing.”
Nearly 250 jobs were saved when the three remaining Jamie’s Italian outlets, all of which are in Gatwick airport, were sold to the catering company SSP for £550,000, KPMG said in its progress report. And the administrator managed to secure a further £1.45m from selling six leases. But those quantities make only a small dent in the total the chain owed when it went into administration.
Claims for more than £300,000 from preferential creditors are expected to be paid in full.