KPMG HAS SOLD motorway fast food chain Little Chef to Kuwaiti group Kout Food in a deal which sees a £15m windfall for previous owners RCapital.
RCapital acquired the diner after buying it out of administration in 2007 in a £9m deal – something it described as the “biggest and longest turnaround in [its] nine-year history”.
During its administration, the company shut almost two-thirds of its 234 restaurants and shed much of its 4,000-strong workforce, before bringing in celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal in a bid to improve its menu and image.
Today, it employs 1,100 staff and serves around six million customers a year.
KPMG were approached by RCapital in April as it launched its search for a buyer following the chain’s return to profitability.
RCapital chief executive Jamie Constable said: “As the country faced one of the worst economic declines in living memory, we rolled up our sleeves and got on with it, we believed we could make it work and we did.
“Having owned Little Chef for a long time it feels like we are selling part of ourselves. But we take comfort from the fact that the new owners will take the brand to the next stage.”
Buyer Kout Food already owns the Maison Blanc bakery chain, the Cha Cha Moon restaurants and around 40 Burger King and KFC units across the UK. It also holds exclusive franchising rights in Kuwait for Burger King, Pizza Hut, Applebee’s and Taco Bell.
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