David Brown, a former finance director of Greene King, has joined Byron, the struggling better burger chain, as its interim chief financial director, MCA has learnt.
Brown was previously interim chief financial officer at Greene King and also the pub operator’s corporate finance director during his 15 years with the Bury St Edmunds-based business. He was most recently group chief financial officer at Market Tech UK.
He will replace Byron’s current chief financial officer Simon Boston, who joined the company from Gondola Group in 2012. Boston is leaving Byron at the end of this month.
At the same time, MCA understands that property agents have started to market a number of brand’s sites, which are expected to be part of the 20 restaurants, Byron is forecast to close through its proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
It is thought that up to four leases could revert to the Azzurri Group, including those from sites in Westbourne Grove and Hoxton Square.
Earlier this month, Byron confirmed that it was to enter a CVA, which could lead to the sale of the currently 67-strong business but the closure of 20 of its sites.
The company confirmed that THCP, which invested in the business when it was acquired for £100m by Hutton Collins in October 2013, had agreed to become its new majority shareholder subject to the successful completion of the reorganisation process.
Hutton Collins will sell half of its current holding in Byron to THCP and will retain a significant minority interest in the business.
Byron operates from 67 leasehold restaurants across the UK and holds a further nine non-operational leasehold sites including its head office in London.
The 20 sites under threat of closure include sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester Deansgate and London’s Spitalfields. It also includes two sites that are yet to open, in Stratford-upon-Avon.
A further five sites identified as being viable at a reduced rent, equivalent to two thirds. These sites are in Bromley, Exeter, Kingston, Leeds and Milton Keynes.
It also includes four sites that Byron had already agreed to lease in Plymouth, Eastbourne, Watford and Reading.