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Hutton Collins acquires Byron for £100m

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Hutton Collins has acquired the Byron chain after it was sold for £100 million.

The brand was previously owned by Gondola, which operates PizzaExpress, Zizzi and Ask. It had previously tried to sell the franchise for somewhere between £80 million and £100 million, but stopped when offers were aiming at the lower end of the price range.

According to the Financial Times, Byron is expected to report underlying profits of £8 million for 2013. This would make Hutton Collin's investment costs around 12 times current projected revenue.

It currently has 34 restaurants and specialises in burgers, offering a bacon cheeseburger for £9.25.

Hutton Collins Terry Hughes said: "If you believe the format works, and that you can open 10 or 12 restaurants a year, you have doubled your business in three years."

Mr Hughes stated the sector's success in Manchester and Leeds has proved encouraging, arguing there is growth both in and outside of London. This may be of interest to those in the restaurant industry, as it highlights a continued push for dining outside of London - with a potential focus on northern cities - with Hutton Collin's investment a good sign of confidence.

The paper also reports the firm - which often invests for periods between three and five years in length - will be looking to expand the company across the country and bring the total number of outlets to between 80 and 120 in the upcoming years. Such rapid expansion is positive news for catering equipment suppliers looking for business.

Chief executive of the Gondola Group said: "Byron has gone from strength to strength since we launched it in 2007. Its passion and innovative approach have already positioned it as an important brand in the casual dining market, with exciting opportunities to continue to grow throughout the UK."

Byron gained fame earlier this year when the chancellor George Osborne was pictured eating one of its burgers while preparing the speech for the budget.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801651403-ADNFCR

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