The owner of the Harry Ramsden's restaurant chain is thought to be readying itself to buy Tesco's Giraffe restaurant business.
Entrepreneur Ranjit Boparan, owner of Boparan Ventures, is expected to complete the purchase of Giraffe from supermarket giant Tesco today (9 June 2016) for a "modest sum", according to reports by Sky News.
Boparan Ventures operates three companies: Harry Ramsden's, which has more than 50 restaurants across the UK; Fishworks 2, which runs two high-end fish restaurants in Piccadilly and Marylebone, London; and Ilderstone which is registered in Ireland. The entrepreneur also owns the London-based, three-strong Cinnamon Collection which was bought by Boparan Restaurant Holdings (BRH), in January this year. The company plans to roll out Cinnamon branded restaurants throughout the UK and overseas.
Ranjit Boparan is also the controlling shareholder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which is Britain's biggest chicken supplier and the owner of Goodfella's Pizzas. The company is a major supplier to Tesco. Its parent company Boparan Holdco's latest annual results, posted in Companies House in April this year, showed operating profits of £58.8m for the year to August 2015.
Boparan Ventures latest annual results to December 2014, posted in September last year, revealed a pre-tax loss of £1.3m, which it attributed largely to the cost of exiting onerous ongoing leases on premises which it closed down in the year as part of a major restructuring of its Harry Ramsden's business.
The company is currently pursuing a major expansion of its Harry Ramsden's venues, more than doubling outlets since January 2015 from 24 to 50. Boparan Ventures is also planning to roll out more FishWorks restaurants in London.
Giraffe, which has 58 restaurants across the UK, was bought by Tesco in 2013 as it moved to diversify its business in a bid to halt falling profits. The deal included the opening of a number of Giraffe restaurants in Tesco Extra stores in a bid to draw in families. Most of the in-store venues were closed last month.
Both Boparan Ventures and Tesco declined to comment on claims that Boparan Ventures will buy Giraffe.
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