Chez Gerard owner Paramount Restaurants is expected to be put up for sale, following a suspected split over strategy at the firm.

Non-executive chairman Sir David Michels and chief executive Mark Phillips were preparing to resign from the firm in a difference over strategy with controlling banks, according to the Times.

Three banks: Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays each ended up with a 20% stake in the company after a financial restructuring last year.

But despite the move, the company is still thought to be struggling with its debt burden, which stands in the region of £70m.

The paper reported that when the chief executive and chairman came on board in December, they had planned to keep ten Chez Gerard and 30 Brasserie Gerard outlets, which are regarded as the firm’s ‘core’ assets, while most of the group’s 30 Bertorelli, Livebait and Caffe Uno venues would be sold.

But the banks were understood to have wanted to pursue a more aggressive sell-off, leaving only 20 of the bigger Chez Gerard and Brasserie Gerard outlets.

Caterer understands that property agent Christie + Co is now set to sell Paramount’s ‘non-core’ brands.

Paramount Restaurants was not immediately available for comment.

By Neil Gerrard, Thursday 13 May taken from Caterersearch

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