Administrators for The Cat’s Pyjamas have contradicted claims by owner Alison White that a buyer has been found for the business.

Lewis Business Recovery said no buyer had been found and that rescuers are still being sought to prevent the business being wound up completely – contrary to a statement made by White.

White said she had found an investor to safeguard the future of the restaurants after bailiffs changed the locks on the sites and the company entered administration.

Gareth Lewis from Lewis Business Recovery said: “The company was placed into administration on Monday 25 March 2019 following a period of unsustainable cashflow difficulties. Since being appointed, I have been and am continuing to market the business and assets for sale in accordance with my duties to creditors. Despite suggestions that the business had been rescued already, I can confirm that this is not the case and I would therefore encourage any interested parties to make contact as soon as possible.”

White has said York, Headingley and Leeds city centre will reopen after the leases were handed over to new investor Aftab Ali, a former banker and NHS administer.

She said she would remain involved in the running of the brand, but it would be operated on a franchise basis with the opportunity for franchisees to purchase sites both in the UK and overseas.

Harrogate and Sheffield sites have closed.

The Cat’s Pyjamas originally entered administration in October 2018, but was reportedly saved by a rescue package from members of Alison’s family, including husband Paul Baron, who is behind the I am Doner kebab shop concept.