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Reverse takeover deal sees IRC take control of Bank

23 November 2006 by

Bank Restaurant Group is expected to complete a £26m reverse takeover of the Individual Restaurant Company (IRC) tomorrow (24 November).

The deal will see IRC take control of the enlarged Bank group. Bank is expected to be renamed as IRC at a later date.

The deal is referred to as a "reverse takeover" because Bank is publicly quoted, while IRC is privately owned.

IRC chief executive Steven Walker will head up the newly enlarged business - which will have more than 20 restaurants throughout the UK - with Vernon Lord, currently IRC's managing director, becoming finance director.

Ian Donald, operations director at IRC, will continue in his role at the enlarged business, as will Bank's executive chairman, Robert Breare.

Future plans for the business are likely to see Bank's Zinc chain assimilated into IRC's The Restaurant Bar & Grill brand.

Bank had planned to refurbish the four-strong Zinc chain to freshen up its image but the plans have been put on ice. The company sold its loss-making Fulham Zinc in September for £350,000 and has pushed back its next new opening, originally earmarked as a Zinc, in Manchester's Trafford centre until March 2007.

Profits shot up at Bank in the first half of the year after a strong performance from established sites and a maiden contribution from Zinc. The group reported a 21% increase in pre-tax profit in the six months to 30 April to £617,000 (up from £509,000 in 2005) after buoyant sales at its Bank Birmingham and Westminster restaurants.

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce](mailto:chris.druce@rbi.co.uk?subject=Reverse takeover deal sees IRC take control of Bank Restaurant Group) here.

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