Lawrence Wosskow has rescued Out of Town Restaurants Group from administration – five years after selling it for £25m.
He has bought the business back from its administrators for an undisclosed amount and plans to double its size and create a further 600 jobs over the next three years.
Under the new ownership, Out of Town will open more units in existing shopping centres in the UK under its own brands such as Potato Bakehouse.
It will also trade in new centres with national brands such as Subway and Costa Coffee and new brands that Wosskow has sourced since living in the USA.
Out of Town managing director James Burdall said: “The administrator has closed down all the poor performing units which has enabled us to buy back a very similar business to the one Lawrence made so successful before selling out in late 2002.
“We have a very solid base of £2.25m profit with no debt as Lawrence has used his own funds for the purchase.”
Out of Town Restaurants is the biggest shopping centre caterer in the UK but faced financial difficulties after it purchase of Madisons Coffee Bars, which is being sold separately by the administrator.
The deal marks a return to hospitality for Wosskow, who was forced to quit the management of Little Chef in July 2006 following a heart attack.
He bought Little Chef for £48m in late 2005 before selling the freeholds for £61m in April 2006 and could only watch from the sidelines as the business fell into difficulties in late 2006.Out of Town Restaurant Group collapses into administration >>
By Helen Gilbert