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Bank moves closer to Conran's Zinc acquisition

09 June 2005

Bank Restaurant Group has confirmed it is in advanced talks with Conran Restaurant's Zinc Bar and Grill.

This would be the first acquisition under Bank's newly launched consolidation strategy.

Bank, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, has three restaurants in Birmingham, Westminster and Aldwych, and believes increasing the size of the business is key to turning around its fortunes.

Executive chairman Robert Breare, who joined the company in May to head up the new acquisition strategy, said: "I believe there is a terrific opportunity to act as a consolidator within the restaurant sector to benefit from increasing purchasing power and reducing per unit central costs."

In the six months to 30 April 2005, pre-tax profit at Bank increased 43% over the previous year to £457,000 (2004: £318,000) on turnover of £4,720,000 (2004: £4,493,000)

Conran bought a 24.9% stake in Bank in 2003 and, although it declined an option to take it over, has continued to provide sales and marketing support.

Chief executive of Conran Holdings, Des Gunewardena, joined the Bank board as non-executive director in May.

A further announcement on negotiations with Zinc will be made soon.

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