Azzurri Group saves 13 Pod sites but 9 to close

Azzurri Group has saved the healthy on-the-go brand, Pod by acquiring 13 sites through administrators RSM, but the other 9 outlets have now been closed.

The sale was via a pre-pack administration after Damian Webb and Allan Kelly of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed administrators of the business on Friday.

Azzurri said it already has a strong platform in the London ‘food-to-go’ market through Coco di Mama, which it has grown from 6 to 22 sites in the last four years and is delivering strong organic growth.

The acquisition of Pod will enable Azzurri to accelerate its development in this segment, although financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Azzurri is acquiring 13 Pod sites and will continue to operate the sites as Pod with the intention of converting a number of the sites to Coco di Mama over the next 12 months, thereby safeguarding over 170 jobs.

Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group, commented, “We are pleased with the strong growth and rapid expansion of Coco di Mama since it joined the Azzurri Group in 2015. The deal announced today will accelerate our position in this growing sector and we look forward to serving even more Londoners fresh food-to-go.”

Damian Webb said, ‘The sale of Pod Foods secures over 170 jobs and ensures the on-going trading of the core Pod business. Regrettably this process has led to the closure of nine stores, resulting in 90 redundancies. We will be working closely with the redundancy payments service to assist these employees.’