Covid 19: Burger King slumps into receivership

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Apr 2020, 12:39PM
Burger King has been hit by the lockdown. Photo / File
Burger King has been hit by the lockdown. Photo / File

Covid 19: Burger King slumps into receivership

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Apr 2020, 12:39PM

The parent company of Burger King in New Zealand has been placed into receivership.

Grant Graham and Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha were appointed receivers for the business, which operates 83 stores around the country and employs more than 2,600 staff.

Burger King restaurants have been closed as part of the level four lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gibson said this has had a significant impact on the business in New Zealand.

The receivers will now seek support from suppliers and landlords to possibly restart the business once the lockdown is lifted.

Gibson said the senior management team remains committed to the business and is working on a plan to reopen after the lockdown.

The Burger King shareholding companies in receivership are Tango Finance Limited, Tango New Zealand Limited and Antares New Zealand Holdings Limited.

In a letter addressed to staff, Burger King chief executive Michelle Alexander said that inability to earn revenue had created significant financial challenges for the company.

"As you know we have applied and received the Government wage subsidy, and this is assisting to pay all staff during the lockdown, however with no sales since lockdown commenced, the Company does not currently have the cash flow to fund trade creditors and rent payments," Alexander said.

She said there was a high degree of uncertainty to when the lockdown would end and how quickly the economy would recover.

In this context, she said that the Burger King shareholders had decided not to put any additional equity into the business.

Alexander explains that the aim of putting the business into receivership is restart the business and then find a new owner.

"We believe that this is the best way forward for the business and are committed to finding a new owner who is confident in the long-term prospects of the Burger King business in New Zealand," she said.

Alexander assured staff that these developments would not affect their terms of employment and that they would stay on at least 80 per cent of their usual earnings.

Burger King has operated in New Zealand since 1993, competing in a cluttered burger market occupied by the likes of McDonald's, Wendy's, Carls Jr, Burger Fuel and a number of other smaller firms.