Brasserie Bar Co has started the conversion process of the eight-strong Chez Gerard chain it acquired from Paramount Restaurants last year in a deal valued at c.£9m.

The group, which is led by Mark Derry, has closed the sites in St Paul’s and Covent Garden for refurbishment. The company is investing £4m to transform the eight sites into Brasserie Blancs through a rolling programme, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

It is also on site at its new sites in Berkhamsted and at the Francis Hotel in Bath, which are due to open in April and at the beginning of June respectively.

Brasserie Blanc raised £20m last year through an equity injection from backer Core Capital to fund its expansion, with plans to grow to 40 sites over the next five years.

It also operates a further nine restaurants under its eponymous brand and two White Brasserie sites.