Rank to pay Earl 20m pounds
Chris Blackhurst writes regular columns for The Independent, i and The Independent on Sunday, and conducts weekly interviews for London Live TV. Blackhurst was City Editor of the Evening Standard for nine years, before becoming Editor of The Independent for two years. He was then promoted to Group Content Director, and in September 2014 he took on the multi-media business role. He’s won numerous awards for his journalism.
Sunday 20 December 1992
Robert Earl, who runs Rank's Hard Rock Cafes around the world, will receive the money when his five-year contract expires on New Year's Eve. But ever since October 1991, he has been setting up his own chain of Planet Hollywood themed restaurants. The first to open, in New York, is 300 yards from a Hard Rock Cafe. He has opened two more in North America, and a fourth in London is due to start shortly.
Five years ago, Mr Earl sold his President Entertainments restaurant company to Pleasurama, the leisure group. Under the deal, he agreed to a joint venture with Pleasurama to manage its Hard Rock chain for five years. He was to receive a salary and a one-off payment for his shares to a family trust on completion of the contract. Pleasurama was taken over by Mecca, in turn acquired by Rank.
'There were only five Hard Rocks in the group when I came along. Now there are 22,' said Mr Earl from his home in Orlando, Florida. He said no sum had been agreed with Rank, but 'I hope it's more than pounds 20m'.
Bunhill, page 24
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