Byron has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, Sky News reports.

The Three Hills Capital-backed burger chain is looking to secure a takeover after becoming the latest major restaurant operator to face financial collapse during the coronavirus crisis.

The notice of intention to appoint administrators is designed to provide protection from creditors as the company holds talks with three potential buyers.

Byron’s board is understood to be confident of sealing a deal in the coming weeks, with the likeliest outcome a pre-pack administration.

KPMG, the accountancy firm, has been running a sale process since early May.

The identity of the remaining bidders was unclear on Monday.

Sources close to the process said Byron still intends to begin a phased reopening of its 51 UK restaurants from the middle of July.

The company has struggled to access financial support under the Treasury’s emergency loan schemes.

Byon underwent a restructure in 2018 which saw the closure of underperforming sites.

Last year, the company recorded turnover of £70.9m, with a gross profit of £31.6m.

It was thought to be making good process under CEO Simon Wilkinson, but was thwarted by the onset of coronavirus and subsequent shutdown.