Capital to overhaul ailing restaurants
Wednesday 15 October 1997
Capital has responded to City scepticism about its pounds 57m acquisition of MKT last year by rethinking its approach to the restaurant business. MKT, which was last month renamed Capital Radio Restaurants, has decided to focus on two core brands - radio cafes, such as the Capital Radio Cafe in London's Leicester Square, and Latin American live music venues.
The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory in Mayfair is among a handful of restaurants which are likely to be renamed Havana, after MKT's flagship Fulham restaurant. The rebranding exercise could cost up to pounds 4m and would see ailing restaurants such as the Chicago Meatpackers restaurant in Glasgow take on the Havana name. MKT's existing Latin venues, which include Salsa! in Charing Cross Road and Cuba in Kensington High Street, are to remain untouched by the review. The Henry J Beans franchise, which has branches in London, Manchester and Bristol, is also likely to be maintained.
The Capital Radio Cafe is to be rebranded as the Radio Cafe, provided the pounds 87m acquisition of Virgin Radio is given the go-ahead by the Department of Trade and Industry. New radio cafes are to be set up in Birmingham and Southampton, where Capital owns local stations.
No one at Capital Radio could be contacted for comment yesterday. However, Russell Scott, who joined MKT as chief executive from Harry Ramsden's, the fish and chip shop operator, in May this year, is expected to outline his new strategy when Capital presents its full-year results next month. MKT is expected to contribute only around pounds 3m to Capital's pre-tax profits, according to City analysts.
Capital's foray into the restaurant business sent shares in the radio group slithering when it was announced last November. City analysts reacted with hostility to the MKT acquisition and questioned the wisdom of a radio group wholly owning a chain of restaurants. Some observers preferred the approach of Capital's rival, Jazz FM, which entered a joint venture with Regent Inns to set up live music bars.
Capital suffered another blow in July when its chief executive, Richard Eyre, quit to head up the ITV network. More bad news followed a month later when the Virgin deal was referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The MMC is due to report to the Department of Trade and Industry by 14 November, but a final decision is not expected until mid-December. Analysts say the shares are likely to drift until then, with investment houses such as Merrill Lynch predicting that the deal will be cleared, but under certain conditions.
Although the share price has begun to climb in the past few weeks, it is still some way off its peak last year of 733p, and has underperformed the FTSE All Share index by more than 20 per cent in recent months. Capital closed last night at 547.5p.
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Man cooked alive with 12,000 pounds of tuna
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
Man cooked alive with 12,000 pounds of tuna
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...