Corbin & King co-founder and restaurateur par excellence Jeremy King declares “business as usual” and boldly vows to buy his company back out of administration
London’s top restaurateur without a shadow of a doubt, Jeremy King OBE, boldly took to YouTube yesterday in response to the majority investor in his company, Bangkok based Minor International, attempting a “power play” for Corbin & King after they forced it into administration.
In a 3:09-minute video uploaded to the video sharing channel, Bristol driving Mr King – who with his partner Chris Corbin OBE has created and successfully run wonderful restaurants including Colbert, The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay – emphasised that it was “business as usual” and in a dignified fashion “reassured” his customers by declaring: “Please don’t be concerned.”
Going further London’s host second to none added: “This administration is a technical one invoked by an investor, Minor International, in an attempt to seize control of the company and it only applies to just one company, the holding company.”
“In the Corbin & King estate we have fourteen other companies that actually run the restaurants. I can assure you that all the restaurants are fully solvent, trading well and all our staff and suppliers are secure, fully paid. It is very much business as usual.”
“Minor claim they took the action because Corbin & King couldn’t meet their financial obligations, but the only obligation we failed to meet were payments in respect of a £30 million loan from Minor themselves. That loan was part of the transaction that saw Minor buy into the company and Minor told us then that they would be refinancing it.”
“Minor also claimed that we had major liquidity constraints throughout the pandemic. We didn’t. We got through it without any financial support other than the government furlough scheme.”
“Finally, Minor claim that I declined a cash injection. They don’t mention that the conditions attached to that small amount that they proposed were in the best interests only of themselves. The truth is Minor haven’t put a penny into the restaurants since buying into the business and the further truth is that we are as busy and as profitable as ever. In spite of all the difficulties of the last two years, we are in rude financial health.
“I’m afraid we do have a fundamental difference of opinion with Minor on how restaurants should be run and what are the best interests of our customers, staff, landlords and suppliers.”
“I will never change my principles to those essential elements of a successful restaurant, so, today, we are under siege from our investor which puts its own interests ahead of us all.”
“I plan to buy back the holding company out of administration, pay back all the monies so that we can get back to doing what we do best. I thank you for listening and I hope to see you soon.”
Elsewhere on Brompton Cross, SW3 this morning, another much loved restaurant, La Brasserie, remains empty and unloved after its purchase by the company controlled by the “Supermarket Sweep-style” empire builder Richard Caring.
Asked by The Steeple Times yesterday as to whether they still had intentions to install an outpost of Scott’s there, a representative from another of the helmet haired business tycoon’s nearby restaurants remarked: “There are no plans for any developments there for the foreseeable future due to market conditions.”
Speaking to The Steeple Times previously in 2020, one of the nation’s favourite actresses, The Good Life star Felicity Kendall CBE, enthused of the news of Scott’s coming to the neighbourhood and welcomed the prospect of the Mount Street institution bringing its seafood bar to the SW3 postcode.
Today, as we did in the case of La Brasserie’s late, great Peter Godwin’s sadly ultimate unsuccessful crusade against his greedy landlord, we join all those backing Jeremy King in his fight against the avarice of his greedy investor. This suave legend deserves to be back, as he correctly said his very self, doing what he does best – without interference from meddling and at the helm of a deservedly loved restaurant group.
Corbin & King are two very decent guys and great restaurateurs.
i am sure that they will overcome this problem with their greedy investor.
good luck and my best wishes
An excellent article about Corbin and King !
Makes a change from usual Ghislaine stuff
Jeremy King is right to stand up to this company. They sound utterly dreadful and I bet he rues the day he ever was introduced to them. He’d have been better off with even Bernie Madoff by the sound of it than the Minor major pests.
Jeremy King and Chris Corbin are superb restaurateurs. Their involvement with the Minor people is a sorry chapter, but they will bounce back and be even better.
Great restaurants and this matter is simply a minor blip. As long as they remain at the helm, it will all be solved. Keep Richard Caring and his like away from them please.