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Spudulike stores in Kent close as company goes into administration

By Geoffrey Bew

A restaurant chain with three branches in Kent has gone into administration "at very short notice".

Spudulike, which serves oven-baked potatoes, has outlets in Bluewater, the Ashford Designer Outlet, and in Tunbridge Wells.

The family-owned business, which first opened in Edinburgh in the 1970s, had 37 branches across the UK and employed 298 staff.

Spudulike branches across the UK have closed
Spudulike branches across the UK have closed

It was made famous by Harry Enfield after featuring on one of his TV sketch shows.

But last month the company announced plans to close four of its stores and appealed for rents to be cut on its shopping centre stores to 10% of turnover.

Joint administrators Neil Bennett and Alex Cadwallader, of the Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, confirmed the last minute withdrawal of a prospective purchaser of the Spudulike Group of Companies had resulted in employees being made redundant.

Neil Bennett said: "We are very disappointed with the outcome after working for several weeks firstly preparing a CVA proposal, which was rejected by the group's creditors, and subsequently pursuing the sale of all or part of the group's business and assets with a number of prospective purchasers.

"Sadly a sale of the business and assets of the group on a going concern basis did not prove possible, following the last minute withdrawal of an offer that was close to completion.

Spudulike employed nearly 300 staff across the UK
Spudulike employed nearly 300 staff across the UK

"We had to act quickly once the prospect of a going concern sale fell away to safeguard the assets of the companies operating under the Spudulike Group.

"We worked with the group's management team and staff in all outlets on Friday to effect as smooth a closure as possible at very short notice.

"We are now focusing on seeking any interest in the group's remaining assets whilst managing the impact of the closures on former employees, helping them prepare and submit claims for any arrears of wages, statutory notice entitlement and redundancy pay."

The Spudulike Group operated three trading companies: T&G Fast Food Developments, Courts Quality Foods and Spud-U-Like.

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