Famous Brands acquires Gourmet Burger Kitchen in £120m deal


Leading law firm Bircham Dyson Bell has advised Famous Brands, Africa’s largest branded food service franchisor, on its acquisition of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, a leading UK burger restaurant chain. The value of the deal is £120m.

Famous Brands is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is within its top 100 companies. The business has 25 brands in its portfolio including over 2,600 restaurants in South Africa, Africa, the UK and the Middle East. The addition of Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a strategic acquisition for Famous Brands.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen was founded in 2001 in Battersea, South London, by three New Zealanders. It has grown exponentially since then, leading the burger eating revolution in the UK, which saw the rise in the popularity of smarter burger restaurant franchises. In 2010, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen was acquired by the Yellowwoods Group.

The Bircham Dyson Bell team advising Famous Brands was led by Nick McCarthy, corporate partner, supported by Dennis Lee, Philip Lamb and Toby Richards- Carpenter. The Bircham Dyson Bell real estate team, headed by David Darvill supported by Sarah Godfrey, also advised on the commercial property aspects of the deal. Gourmet Burger Kitchen was advised by Pinsent Masons.

Andrew Smith, managing partner at Bircham Dyson Bell, said: “We were thrilled to advise Famous Brands on this hugely exciting deal and expansion into the UK market. The deal involved complex cross-practice area matters that required our expertise and experience to ensure the acquisition of Gourmet Burger Kitchen took place as smoothly as possible. The corporate and commercial and real estate teams at Bircham Dyson Bell worked closely to ensure that the deal was a resounding success.”