Tesco is finally offloading its loss-making Giraffe restaurant chain to the owner of Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shops Boparan Restaurant Holdings, the investment firm owned by so-called “Chicken King” Ranjit Singh Boparan.
Boparan, who supplies processed poultry and ready-meals to supermarkets, including Tesco, also owns Northern Foods, the company behind Goodfella’s pizzas and Fox’s biscuits. His firm also owns London chain Fishworks and upmarket Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club.
Tesco paid £48.6m for Giraffe in March 2013; it has 54 standalone restaurants, including 12 franchise sites and three within Tesco stores.
The move, which is part of chief executive Dave Lewis’ strategy to go back to basics and dispose of non-core assets, coincides with the sale of Tesco’s 95.5% controlling stake in the Kipa retailer in Turkey. This has been bought by Migros, one of the country’s biggest supermarket chains, for £30m.
The supermarket giant has already flogged off Blinkbox and Tesco Broadband services to TalkTalk, as well as its South Korean chain. There has been speculation that Dobbies garden centres and the Harris + Hoole coffee chain could also go.
Plans to sell off DunnHumby were scrapped in October last year after Tesco failed to find a buyer willing to cough up the price it was demanding.
Lewis said: “As we stabilise the business in the UK, we continue to focus on where we can best serve the needs of our customers, while ensuring our business remains sustainable for the long-term.
“Giraffe is a much-loved brand, and while casual dining remains an important part of the shopping trip for many of our customers, we will continue to meet these needs through our Tesco Cafés and other providers.”
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