Banks and food suppliers ‘to pursue Jamie Oliver for millions of pounds in debts’ as restaurant empire failure puts 1,300 jobs at risk

Banks and food suppliers ‘to pursue Jamie Oliver for millions of pounds in debts’ as restaurant empire failure puts 1,300 jobs at risk

JAMIE Oliver could be forced to payback banks and suppliers from his own pocket after the collapse of his restaurant empire.

Yesterday, more than 1,000 members of staff were sacked on the spot after the TV chef’s company Jamie’s Italian Limited appointed administrators for 23 restaurants, as well as branches of Fifteen and Barbecoa.

Jamie is believed to have put his own personal fortune as a guarantor for some loans
Rex Features

Jamie is believed to have provided his own personal fortune as a guarantee for loans from HSBC and to food supplier Brakes in case the company couldn’t pay the bills, reports The Daily Telegraph.

It means that the companies owed cash from the failed firm can try to claim it directly from Jamie’s personal fortune.

The restaurant chain has been struggling to stay afloat after it emerged two years ago that it owed £71.5million to lenders, suppliers and staff – £37million of which it owed HSBC.

It’s understood that HSBC has “super senior” rights which means that it will be the first business to recover the debts from whatever cash can be salvaged from the company by KPMG.

All but three of Jamie’s restaurants closed down yesterday
PA:Press Association

It has fought off filing for bankruptcy over the past few years after Jamie, who’s said to be worth £150million, pumped £12.7million of his own money into the business.

Yesterday, Jamie said that he was “deeply saddened” about the closures and that the food chain had “positively disrupted mid-market dining”.

Only three Jamie’s Italian restaurants and one ranch of Jamie Oliver’s Diner, all based at Gatwick airport, remain open and 300 more jobs are still at risk.

Will Wright from appointed administrators KPMG said: “Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”

The Sun has contacted a representative for Jamie Oliver and Sysco Corporation, Brakes’ parent company. HSBC and KPMG declined to comment on the personal guarantor.

Staff claim that they were told that their jobs were cut by conference call 30 minutes before the announcement.

Despite the collapse of his business, Jamie recently splashed out £6million on a Tudor mansion in Essex which he and wife Jools are currently in the process of refurbishing.

In 2017, Jamie Oliver Holdings paid £3.8million to its shareholders – of which, £2.28million went to Oliver and £1.52million to Jools.

On top of this, the highest paid director – understood to be Oliver – was given a £1million salary, which meant that between them, the couple took home a staggering £4.8million.


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