The Irish arm of the sandwich chain O’Briens has been bought out of liquidation by Impless, a newly formed subsidiary of Irish fast food group Abrakebabra Investments (AIL).
The chain, which was put into examinership the equivalent to administration in the UK in July this year, was put into liquidation in early October, after attempts to sell the business failed. Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, the official liquidator, confirmed the trade and assets, including the brand of O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars, had now been sold to Impless.
The AIL Restaurant Group is owned in partnership by entrepreneur Graeme Beere and promoter Denis Desmond. In a statement, the pair said they had always respected O’Briens as a brand and were "delighted to put this well-known Irish brand back on a solid financial footing".
O’Briens comprised 85 franchised outlets in Ireland, but AIL would not confirm whether any stores had been closed.
Commenting on the deal, Don Cahalane and Collette Moyles, franchisees from Cork, said: "We have invested heavily in the O’Briens brand and are delighted that this deal has gone through."
However, according to the Irish Times, it is believed that a number of franchisees are opposed to the arrangement and are considering legal action in an attempt to block it.
The UK arm of the business, comprising 109 franchised outlets, was put into administration in August this year but its position is not affected by the deal in Ireland. A spokesperson for the firm confirmed that the business is still in adminis-tration, though "it is business as usual".