The management team at Byron, the better burger chain, which is set to go through a restructure, is to undergo further change with the departures of its chief financial officer and commercial director, MCA understands.
Commercial director Fraser Parramint, who joined the then Tom Byng-led company in April 2014 from Marks & Spencer, is understood to have left Byron just before the end of last year. Chief financial officer Simon Boston, who joined the company from Gondola Group in 2012, is believed to be leaving at the end of this month.
Their departures come as the company has opted to restructure its debt in a deal that will see Hutton Collins—the current majority stakeholder—downsize its holding and existing stakeholder Three Hills Partners (THCP), which is led by ex-Hutton Collins executives becoming its new majority shareholder.
FPP Asset Management will also become a new investor in the business, which has been suffering amid rising costs and a downturn in trading at many of its sites.
It is thought that the two new investment groups will inject new funds into Byron to fund future plans, with FPP understood to be interested in an international expansion play for the brand.
The deal will pave the way for the closure of some of Byron’s restaurants, with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) likely to be considered over the coming months. MCA understands that the group’s tail of c19 sites was losing c£1.5m EBITDA between them.
Under Hutton Collins’ ownership, Byron’s number of restaurants more than doubled to 70, but underlying earnings are rumoured to have fallen to £3m on a “run rate” basis, valuing the business under half of the £100m the private equity firm paid for it in October 2013.
The deal is believed to be contingent upon the successful restructuring of Byron’s estate. A successful deal is expected to see former Morrisons chief Dalton Philips stepping down as Byron’s chairman.
Byron’s debts amounted to £45.7m in March this year, comprising a senior term facility of £36m, a capex facility of £7.7m and a £2m revolving credit facility, according to filings with Companies House.