Hamilton Bradshaw has bought Benjys which was put into the administrative hands of Deloitte over the weekend. The private equity firm will fund the business, established in Islington, north London, in 1989. It plans to keep the brand name and existing stores and improve the quality of food sold. But it does not plan to compete directly with chains such as Pret A Manger. It believes it can find a niche at the cheaper end of the market. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The Times says Hamilton Bradshaw is likely to have been handed the business in return for assuming a proportion of the estimated debts of £30m with Barclays. Former franchisees are fuming that the company emerged unscathed. It is thought their lawsuits against the group will be dropped following the change of ownership even though Benjys is still being run by the same management team. Financial Times 15/07/06 page 17 The Times 15/07/06 page 58 (Need to know), page 67 The Daily Telegraph 15/07/06 page 30 (DataBase), page 31, page 32 (Comment)