Gourmet Burger owner to expand into Middle East

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The Independent Online

GGC is poised to develop about 15 GBK restaurants in the Middle East over the next three years, focused around UAE and Kuwait. GBK was launched in the UK five years ago, and floated on AIM in November 2003 to fund UK expansion. Its shares were priced at 100p apiece in an effort to raise £14.3m.

Last night shares in the group, which owns and operates 28 sites, closed up 2.5p at 190p.

The GBK chain offers a range of burgers which it claims are a healthier alternative to traditional fast food.

Although the menu for the Middle East will be slightly altered to cater for regional tastes, Clapham House will retain final approval of all products.

In the past, Clapham House has confined its GBK restaurant growth to the environs of the the UK's M25. Clapham House will not invest any capital into the territories.

Under the terms of the deal, the company will be paid a fee upfront, with further payments upon the opening of each restaurant, plus a percentage of actual sales.

The chief executive of Clapham House, Paul Campbell, said the deal was "an excellent opportunity to test the international franchise potential for GBK".