FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, UK

Muffin Break's 60 stores continue recovery after pre-pack administration deal

The arrangement indirectly secures almost 700 jobs.

The UK franchise holder of Muffin Break has been bought out of administration in a deal that indirectly secures the livelihoods of almost 700 people employed across its network.

FRP Advisory said it has completed the pre-pack sale of Foodco UK LLP and its assets to Foodco UK Franchising Limited. This included the novation of independent franchises and resulted in the transfer of 59 of the 60 cafés across the UK.

“Before the pandemic, the business had been trading profitably and was targeting an ambitious growth strategy,” said joint administrator Tonya Allison. “However, the volatility and restrictions arising from the coronavirus pandemic saw the closure of its stores and this severely impacted trade and cash flow. This sale helps retain an established high street brand and indirectly saves almost 700 jobs, which is a huge positive in what is a very tough time for the high street.”

FRP’s restructuring division said it has been working with Foodco UK to restructure its operations after the business and its franchised network were forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The Muffin Break brand has seen substantial investment from the individual franchisees and importantly this deal ensures the continuity of their businesses,” Michael Arbuckle, director at Foodco UK Franchising Limited, said.

“We actively engaged with these groups early on and their support of this sale ensures we’re now on a stronger footing and confident about the future opportunities for Muffin Break. More importantly, this sale also means that more than 50 franchisees will continue to play a part in their local communities.”

Muffin Break opened its first UK store in Derby in 2001 and it has since grown its franchise network to establish locally-owned cafés on high streets nationwide.

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