Paramount Restautants has confirmed chairman Sir David Michels and chief executive Mark Phillips are to step down.
Meanwhile the company is to sell its ‘non-core' brands Livebait, Il Bertorelli and Caffe Uno in order to concentrate on Chez Gerard and Brasserie Gerard.
Property Agent Christie + Co is understood to have been lined up to handle the sale of the three chains, which between them account for around 30 of the group's 70 outlets.
In a statement released this afternoon, the company said: "Paramount Restaurants today announces that, following a strategic review led by Sir David Michels, Chairman and Mark Phillips, Chief Executive, the business intends to focus on its 2 core French brands - Chez Gerard and Brasserie Gerard. As a consequence the group will, over a period of time, dispose of or convert its non core assets with near term investment in the core brands being funded from proceeds.
"It is likely that in the short term the group will be reducing in size and, therefore, Sir David and Mark have decided to leave. Sir David is stepping down with immediate effect but Mark has agreed to stay for a period of time to affect an orderly hand over. The Board has appointed William Rollason, the senior non-executive director, as Chairman to steer the group through the implementation of the strategic review."
Mark Phillips said: "This will enable the group to focus on its core strengths, thereby enabling it to grow more quickly in the future. Chez Gerard is a much admired brand with a very loyal following. The Brasserie Gerard concept has been improved over the last year to ensure that it is capable of delivering its undoubted potential and is appropriate for all day dining in the casual market. We have opened 5 new sites in the last 6 months and we have been pleased with their performance. They are trading significantly ahead of both our uninvested estate and our expectations. The non core assets are cash generative and we will, therefore, manage their disposal in a controlled way to maximise value."
By Neil Gerrard
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