Travers, Freshfields and Dickson Minto tuck into Byron sale

Travers Smith, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Dickson Minto have taken lead roles on the £100m sale of Byron Hamburgers to private equity group Hutton Collins Partners.

Travers Smith, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Dickson Minto have taken lead roles on the £100m sale of Byron Hamburgers to private equity group Hutton Collins Partners.

The six-year old gourmet burger chain, which operates from 34 locations across the UK, was sold by the Gondola Group, which also owns of PizzaExpress, Zizzi, ASK and Kettner’s in Soho.

Byron was bought by Hutton Collis Partners, a private equity group whose portfolio also includes Wagamama and Caffe Nero. Hutton Collins reportedly considered the business earlier this year in conjunction with other interested partners, but returned to Gondola in August with another offer.

“It’s a nice business to work for,” said Ian Shawyer, who led the Travers Smith team advising Byron’s management. “They’re a very capable management team and I’m really pleased they’ve had this opportunity to go it alone.” 

Other members of the Travers’ team involved in the transaction were private equity partner Ian Shawyer, senior partner Chris Hale, tax partner Russell Warren, and senior corporate associate Adam Orr. It is the first time the firm has advised Byron’s management, having been approached directly in relation to the transaction.

Freshfields advised the Gondola Group, guided by corporate partners Adrian Maguire and Andrew Craig, real estate partner Alex Watts, tax partner Jill Gatehouse, and IP associate David Brooks.

Hutton Collins was advised by Dickson Minto.

The transaction is the latest in a string of restaurant chain acquisitions, which has also seen Tesco buyout Giraffe for £49m, Bowmark Capital purchase London-based restaurant chain Drake & Morgan, and the sale of French bistro chain Cote to CBPE Capital for £100m (17 September 2013).