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Famous Brands buy Wimpy and promises to ‘re-energise' it

28 February 2007 by

Beleaguered burger chain Wimpy has been bought by Famous Brands for £3m amid promises to return the brand to its former glory.

The South African company has pledged a further £2m investment programme on top of the £3m it paid for a 75% stake in the group, which represents Famous Brands's first foothold in the UK.

Famous Brands operates 1,200 restaurants in South Africa, 450 of which are currently Wimpys.

Chief operating officer, Kevin Hedderwick, admitted the brand, which was established in 1954, had become dated, but argued it could become "re-energised" with the right investment.

"With the eating-out market growing, there is certainly the opportunity for development," he said.

Hedderwick revealed plans to widen the breakfast menu and coffee offering, as well as adding a snack menu and healthier options.

Wimpy, the UK's largest independently owned franchise restaurant chain, was originally a table-service burger restaurant, but it began converting its properties to over-the-counter service in the 1970s.

Banking giant HBOS will retain its 25% stake in the company.

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Wimpy website >>

By Emily Manson

E-mail your comments to Emily Manson](mailto:emily.manson@rbi.co.uk?subject=Famous Brands buys Wimpy and promises to re-energise it) here.

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