Jamie Oliver to rescue Jamie’s Italian chain
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will take control of his namesake restaurants across Australia after reaching a deal to purchase the Jamie’s Italian chain from the Keystone Hospitality Group, which collapsed in late June.
Staff at the six Jamie’s Italian restaurants are being briefed this morning about the sale of the business, at an undisclosed price, to Oliver.
Keystone’s $100 million restaurant and bar empire has been split up by receivers Ferrier Hodgson, with several well-known Sydney venues — including Bungalow 8, Cargo Bar, The Winery and Kingsleys Woolloomooloo — sold to Dixon Hospitality late last month.
The Australian understands that, while there was significant investor interest to acquire the Jamie’s Italian chain, Oliver was concerned that some of those bidders could fail to meet the standards he expected of the business.
“This will be a really exciting moment for me personally, and I know the guys will be ecstatic to be back in-house,” Oliver says.
“It will allow us to invest even more time and money in people and restaurants, celebrate great Aussie produce and be even more creative.”
It had been earlier reported that Urban Purveyor Group, which owns the Fratelli Fresh chain, controlled by private equity outfit Quadrant, was interested in the properties underpinning the Jamie’s Italian restaurants.
This will be a really exciting moment for me personally, and I know the guys will be ecstatic to be back in-house
Keystone collapsed earlier this year, leaving 1200 staff in limbo, after it was unable to reach agreement with its lending syndicate made up of heavyweight investment funds including KKR and Olympus Capital.
Ferrier Hodgson is yet to sell Keystone’s other businesses including Chophouse Perth and Sydney, The Sugarmill Hotel, Gazebo and Kingsley’s Brisbane.
DataRoom reported earlier this week the sale of Neil Perry’s restaurant chain Rockpool Group is separately expected to close by the end of this week.
It is likely to also be sold to Quadrant, with the venues merged into Urban Purveyor, with a price tag of around $100 million.
The Rockpool Group includes Eleven Bridge, Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Spice Temple in Sydney and Melbourne and Rosetta Ristorante and Burger Project.
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.