Jamie Oliver’s company over $125 million in debt

Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant empire has hit turbulent times after The Sun revealed Jamie’s Italian Limited owes debts totalling $125 million.

The Sun obtained High Court documents detailing the company’s debt, which includes $53 million to financial services company HSBC in overdrafts and loans.

The company also owes approximately $73 million to landlords, suppliers and staff ($3.8 million) in addition to tax.

Creditors “overwhelmingly” agreed to support the terms of a Company Voluntary Arrangement restructuring plan which will result in 12 out of 25 Jamie’s Italian restaurants closing their doors.

The group are consulting with affected employees and are “looking to deploy as many staff as possible” throughout the business.

The celebrity chef is said to have “begged landlords to cut his rent” at a number of his restaurants to avoid going under. On 9 February, creditors agreed to cut rent at some restaurants by 30 per cent.

The company addressed the restructure in a statement: “We are pleased to have received the overwhelming support from our creditors for our proposal to reshape Jamie’s Italian restaurants. We have a strong brand and are focused on continuing to deliver the levels of service, taste and the experience our loyal customers deserve.

“We are working hard to ensure that our estate is fit for the current trading environment and we feel confident that this newly shaped business will provide strong opportunities for growth and profitability.”

A company spokesman added: “The CVA approval ensures Jamie’s Italian’s great staff and suppliers can all get paid and has saved 1800 jobs.”

It is understood Oliver’s 28 venues located outside the UK will not be affected at this stage.

Image credit: Nine Kitchen

First published at www.hospitalitymagazine.com.au 

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