The Byron restaurant chain was sold for just £856,000 last week, ten years after the burger group changed hands for £100m.
Famously Proper, which is also behind the Mother Clucker fried chicken brand, was bought out of administration in a deal which saw 12 Byron sites saved and nine permanently closed.
It was sold to Tristar Foods, a new company linked to investment firm Calveton UK which holds a 34.8% stake in Famously Proper.
It is a drastic turnaround in fortunes for Byron, once seen as a pioneer of the gourmet burger market. Founded in 2007 by Tom Byng, the chain grew to 34 sites and was sold to investment firm Hutton Collins for £100m in 2013.
The business nearly doubled in size to 67 sites within five years but underwent a restructuring in 2018 blaming economic headwinds.
Byron struggled to survive the pandemic and 31 of its 51 restaurants closed when Calveton acquired it for £4m in 2020.
According to an administrator's report, the chain had recovered from the impact of lockdowns to post positive monthly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) at the end of 2021.
However, Byron had been in "decline since the start of 2022" driven by rising food and energy prices and a reduction in customer spending as the cost of living crisis started to bite.
This saw it post an EBITDA loss of £1.6m for the year ending 31 July 2022.
Administrators Interpath Advisory were appointed to review options in October and began marketing the business in November. No solvent offers were received despite details being send to hundreds of trade and turnaround specialists and investors.
The sale price included £800,000 for goodwill and intellectual property and a £56,000 floating charge realisation which included assets such as furniture and equipment from the closed restaurants.
It is anticipated that £2.5m of working capital will be made available to the business as part of the offer.
"The joint administrators have acted in the best interests of the creditors as a whole when negotiating this pre-pack sale and are satisfied that the sale price achieved was the best reasonably obtainable in all circumstances," the administrators report stated.
It is understood Gavin Cox, chief executive of Famously Proper since summer 2021, will remain involved in the management of the company.
Mother Clucker is included in the sale, but the brand no longer runs any bricks and mortar restaurants and instead trades as a delivery business.
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