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Boparan hooks in Harry Ramsden's.

Byline: Report by Pippa Armstrong

Historic fish and chip shop chain Harry Ramsden's has been snapped up by Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG).

Boparan's Deep Blue Restaurants chain will take over Harry Ramsden's 34 sites, as well as its brand, in a debt free deal.

Boparan Holdings has its headquarters in Birmingham and chicken processing factories in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. It was was recently ranked 12th in a list of the UK's private companies, with sales of PS3.3 billion and profits of PS115 million in the year ending July 2018. The sale comes after a period of slow decline for the famous Yorkshire food business, as the casual dining sector continues to battle rising costs and falling footfall.

Deep Blue markets itself as a restaurant for 'Great British Fish and Chips' and is a direct competitor to Harry Ramsden.

James Low, founder and chief executive officer of Deep Blue, said: "We are delighted with this transaction which has accelerated our growth, making us the largest player in the market by a considerable margin.

"Our immediate focus will be on the integration of the business into the Deep Blue organisation. Our amalgamation with Harry Ramsden's is a key milestone in our development but we remain committed to exploiting the unparalleled opportunities within the sector for further expansion."

Tom Crowley, chief executive officer of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: "This is an important strategic move for BRG and one which enables us to simplify our future business and allow us to focus on the opportunities for our core brands of Giraffe, Ed's Easy Diner, Fishworks and the roll out of Slim Chickens, while still retaining an ongoing interest in the fish and chip sector." Harry Ramsden's was started 90 years ago in West Yorkshire but has struggled recently, after falling to a PS5m loss in its most recently filed accounts and closing a number of restaurant sites.

Boparan Restaurant Group said it will retain an interest in the enlarged business as part of the move.

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Publication:Shropshire Star (Shropshire, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 28, 2019
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