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Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire collapses with 1,000 jobs lost

Jamie Oliver's restaurant chains have gone into administration with the loss of 1,000 jobs and a further 300 at risk.
In the latest casualty of Britain's casual dining crunch, KPMG has been appointed to handle the insolvency of the celebrity chef's empire.
Mr Oliver said he was "deeply saddened" at the situation, but insisted that his restaurants had achieved the goal of "positively disrupting mid-market dining".
The failure is likely to leave the restaurant chain's banks, which are understood to have lent tens of millions of pounds, significantly out of pocket.
The administration comes two years after Mr Oliver's business went through a painful restructuring to offload unprofitable sites.
All but three sites have now closed, while sites at Gatwick will stay open while KPMG explores options.
KPMG partner Will Wright said:  "A sales process which sought to bring new investment into the business proved unsuccessful. With insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed."
The 1,000 staff made redundant will be paid until today.
puff: how Jamie Oliver's businesses ran into trouble
Fears had been raised when Alix Partners, which ran a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2017, was hired earlier this year to seek an "investment partner". 
With the company clearing a key hurdle in March, the quarterly rent roll, hopes were raised that Mr Oliver's chains - which also include Barbecoa and Fifteen London - could secure fresh funding. Specialists from accountancy firm BDO were also hired to assist Alix in preparing the company's finances.
City sources said bidders were becoming increasingly suspicious, however, at the lack of progress by BDO. 
HSBC, the restaurant group's main lender, will now hope it can recoup some of its loans - understood to be in the region of ?37m. 
The casual dining sector, a popular investment for private equity funds since the turn of the century, has come under huge pressure in recent years.
Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire collapses with 1,000 jobs lost

Spiralling wage costs, higher rents and changes to business rates have come against the backdrop of weak consumer sentiment and shifting customer habits.
Jamie Oliver's empire is one of a number of victims that either failed and flirted with collapse. Gaucho, Byron and Gourmet Burger Kitchen are three once popular chains have fallen out of favour. 
Mr Oliver said: "I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade. I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.
"I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you. 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."
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