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Boss of fried chicken chain says bank lending to small restaurants has ‘shut down’ as restructure beckons

Money

Fried chicken chain Bird is reportedly working with advisors in a bid to avoid going into administration after claiming that a lack of support from its bank is to blame for its situation.  

The company, which has four branches in east and north London, including one at the Westfield shopping centre, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, according to the Evening Standard.

It said the move gives the company, which is working with shareholders and restructuring experts BM Advisory, up to four weeks to establish plan to better stabilise the business following cashflow challenges.

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Paul Hemings, who co-founded Bird with his wife in 2014, told the paper that options included securing new investment, a company voluntary arrangement with creditor approval, or a pre-pack sale.

He said one of these agreements is “imminent” and he expects a successful conclusion to the process, the report added.

Mr Hemmings insisted trading has been good, with solid growth, but claimed cashflow problems began when Metro Bank withdrew its overdraft ahead of a new restaurant opening last year.

“The bank funding market for small businesses, particularly restaurants, has effectively shut down which has had a huge effect across the sector.”

The paper said that Metro Bank had declined to comment on the matter.

Bird specialises in fried chicken and waffles, as well as burgers, fries and sides.

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Tags : bank lendingBirdchainfried chicken
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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