Travers Smith has advised the operating company of the Giraffe Restaurants and Ed's Easy Diner brands, on its company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Will Wright and David Costley-Wood of KPMG LLP will oversee the implementation of the CVA.
Giraffe operates 63 restaurants, 35 of which trade under the "Giraffe" brand, 25 under the "Ed’s Easy Diner" brand and 3 as "Slim Chickens". The company also has 17 franchised restaurants, mostly located in major transport hubs. Giraffe directly employs over 1,300 staff across its sites and at its head office. The CVA allows the company to reduce its leasehold obligations and/or exit a number of unprofitable sites, putting the business on a surer financial footing.
CEO Tom Crowley said: "The CVA is the only option to protect the company. The combination of increasing costs and over-supply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand have all contributed to the challenges both these brands face". The approval of the CVA gives the company access to additional funding for operational improvements and a restructuring, which will include the expansion of the Giraffe franchise model overseas and the conversion a number of sites to Slim Chickens.
The Travers Smith team was led by Restructuring Partner Edward Smith, assisted by Restructuring Senior Associate Natalie Scoones, Restructuring Associate Kirsty Emery, with support from the Real Estate team under Senior Counsel Sarah Walker.
Travers Smith's restructuring and insolvency team has been involved in many of the recent high profile retail and leisure CVAs, including Carpetright, Carluccio's, House of Fraser, Gaucho, Powerleague Fives. This latest instruction is an endorsement of the team's credentials and expertise in CVA-led restructurings.