Vegan fast food restaurant brand Vurger Co has been bought out of administration in a pre-pack sale.
Neil Potts and Rachel Hugh who founded the group in 2016 have acquired the business and assets under a new company with the support of new and existing investors. Vurger's restaurant in London's Canary Wharf has closed but is three sites in Shoreditch, Brighton and Manchester continue to trade.
In a company update Potts and Hugh said the three years since the pandemic had been "unimaginably difficulty" for the business amid price hikes, VAT and business rates rises and the aftermatch of Brexit. "The pandemic forced us to move from developing and growing our brand to simply firefightly to keep our doors open and our teams employed," the founders wrote. "Its been physically and mentally exhausing, but we're still fighting. Surviving as a small independent restaurant brand is tough."
After asking Vurger's existing investors for support the business reached a 'pivotal' moment by the end of 2022 and the team were told a buyer was being sought for the company. When a potential purchaser pulled out at the last minute Potts and Hugh had to decide between shutting down the business or trying to find another investor. They have now acquired the business with investor support and said the "majority" of jobs at the Canary Wharf site had been saved. The founders said: "This marks a new era for the business, with a restructured model and a new menu with existing new items in the works. They added: "It seems like every day this is bad news about another hospitality business struggling and so we really do implore everybody to support your favourite small businesses wherever you possibly can. We are proud and relieved to have found a solution that enables the business to go forward positively and we are fully committed to navigating the business through these trying times and into more settled and prosperous times ahead."
Specialist business rescue and insolvency company McTear Williams & Wood worked with Vurger to complete the sale within six working days of first meeting with the directors. Jo Watts, joint administrator and associate director at McTear Williams & Wood said: "Every case is different but in this instance we were able to save jobs and the brand which in the current economic climate is a very good outcome."
5 May 2023