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Jamie's Italian in Westfield Stratford closes after company collapses

PUBLISHED: 16:26 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 21 May 2019

The celebrity chef said he is devastated by the collpase. Pic: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

The celebrity chef said he is devastated by the collpase. Pic: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

Only three out of the 25 branches of Jamie's Italian have been saved following the collapse of the restaurant chain today.

Only three of the branches have been spared. Pic: Nick Ansell/PA WireOnly three of the branches have been spared. Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The branch in Westfield Stratford has been closed by administrators KPMG after investment could not be secured to keep them trading.

The business owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver confirmed only its two Jamie's Italian restaurants and Jamie's Diner at Gatwick Airport have been saved.

Jamie took to Twitter to express his sadness, saying he was "devastated" and thanking those who "put their hearts and souls into this business over the years".

In an official statement, the chef added: "We launched Jamie's Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that."

Mr Oliver offered £4million to support a last-minute search for funds, but with "no investment forthcoming" and in light of difficult trading conditions, the firm appointed the administrators.

Around 1,300 people are estimated to work for the UK business in total.

Closure notices were displayed in the windows of branches across the country.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: "Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed.

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"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."

All restaurant salaries will be paid up to the date of the administrator's appointment, KPMG added.

The process does not affect Mr Oliver's other companies, which handle his media and licensing deals, while the international branch of Jamie's Italian is also unaffected.

Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is also not involved.

It follows a hunt for a new investor in the Jamie's Italian brand, with a number of private equity firms touted as mulling bids for a stake in the business.

Mr Oliver's restaurant empire has taken a few knocks over the past two years.

In 2018 Jamie's Italian shuttered 12 of its 37 sites through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The TV personality's steak house, Barbecoa, also went into a pre-pack administration, leading to the closure of its Piccadilly branch.

Overseas, five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie's Italian was sold off last year, while another was put into administration.

Despite the troubles, which forced Mr Oliver to pump £13 million of his own money into his Italian chain, he told Press Association earlier this year that casual dining was primed for a comeback.

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