Commenting on the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal in today's announcement by Byron Hamburgers Limited
Commenting on the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal in today's announcement by Byron Hamburgers Limited, Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG and proposed 'supervisor' of the CVA, said:
“Over the last ten years, Byron has grown to become a stand-out name within the UK’s casual dining sector. However, in recent times, certain parts of its portfolio have not met expectations, and with gathering economic headwinds starting to impact the sector more profoundly, the directors embarked upon a strategic review of the business as a means of safeguarding its long-term future.
“As part of this strategic review, the directors have been successful in negotiating a financial restructuring with the company’s lenders and shareholders, which will enable new investment to come into the business. Completion of this financial restructuring is conditional on the approval of today’s CVA proposal, which is designed to tackle the cost of the company’s leasehold obligations across its UK restaurant portfolio.
“As with similar CVAs, this arrangement seeks to strike a balance which provides a fair compromise to landlords, while allowing the viable part of the business to move forward across a smaller, more profitable core estate. It’s important to stress that no restaurants will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.”
Byron operates from 67 leasehold restaurants across the UK. It holds a further 9 non-operational leasehold sites including its head office in London
Will Wright said: “The CVA essentially divides this portfolio into three categories. For a total of 51 Category 1 sites, the leases will be retained at current rents. A further five Category 2 leases, have been identified as being viable at a reduced rent, equivalent to two thirds.
“For the remaining 20 Category 3 sites, a reduced rent, equivalent to 55%, will be paid for six months, while the company engages with landlords to agree the basis of any continued trading from these premises.”
The company needs to secure at least 75% creditor approval for its CVA. A detailed proposal document is expected to be made available to Byron’s creditors via a dedicated website today. The creditors will vote on the CVA on 31 January 2018. KPMG will spend the next two weeks in talks with creditors to ensure they understand the full detail of the proposal.
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About company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
Where a company is experiencing difficulties in paying its debts, the directors can propose a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) whereby the company enters into a legally binding agreement with its creditors, such as their suppliers or landlords. In a similar vein to an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), which gives an individual an alternative to bankruptcy, a CVA enables a company and its creditors to come to a compromise agreement and avoid an administration or liquidation. A CVA can provide a company with some breathing space to allow it to reorganise or restructure its funding and/or its operations with as little disruption to the day to day trading as possible, with the control of the company usually staying within the existing management.
About KPMG in the UK
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.