AceShowbiz - British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has expressed his sadness after his restaurant group collapsed into administration on Tuesday, May 21.
A spokesperson for the firm told WENN that administrators from consultancy firm KPMG have been appointed to oversee the restaurant business' insolvency.
In his own statement Jamie said: "I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade. I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected. I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it's been a real pleasure serving you."
He later tweeted: "I'm devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years."
In total, 25 restaurants and more than 1,000 jobs are at risk, including 23 branches of his Jamie's Italian chain, as well as his London eateries Barbecoa and Fifteen. Jamie's Italian's international outlets are unaffected, as is another Fifteen restaurant in Cornwall, England, which operates as a franchise.
Last year (18), Jamie shuttered 12 Jamie's Italian sites, and placed Barbecoa's parent company into administration, leading to the closure of one of its two branches. He pumped millions of pounds of his own money into the business to keep it afloat.
The 43-year-old, who rose to fame with his TV show "The Naked Chef" in 1999, and has campaigned against unhealthy eating in the U.K. and U.S., launched Fifteen as a social enterprise in 2002 and his Italian chain six years later.
KPMG's Will Wright and Mark Orton will now lead the search for a buyer.