The future of Indian restaurant chains Tiffinbites, Vama and Bombay Bicycle Club hangs in the balance after parent company V8 Gourmet collapsed into administration.
Administrators from RE10 have been called into the company, after HM Revenue & Customs petitioned for a winding-up order last month.
The collapse comes after some time of difficulty for V8 Gourmet. The group acquired the Tiffinbites, Vama and Bombay Bicycle brands at the start of 2009 when it rescued Gourmet Restaurants from administration. Its most recent accounts filed at Companies House show that in 2009 it made a pre-tax loss of £2.6m, with sales of £10.4m.
Last December V8 Gourmet appointed property agent Cedar Dean Gilmarc to find new tenants for the majority of its branches, while in March, the group entered emergency talks with its lenders.
V8 Gourmet is 30% owned by Bollywood actress and Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty, who invested £6m in the group in 2009, before stepping down as a director at the end of 2010.
Finbarr O'Connell and Nimish Patel, partners at Re10, were appointed joint administrators. Patel said: "We are continuing to trade V8 Gourmet and the sites of the sub brands, until such time that we can see a way forward for all elements of the business.
"At present no changes are to be made, and we are working hard to secure the jobs of all 264 employees. We are at an advanced stage of discussions with an interested party with regard to the business."
By Kerstin Kühn
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