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Byron has been saved from administration in a rescue deal but 651 jobs will be lost as the burger chain permanently shuts 31 restaurants.

The company, which employs around 1,200 staff, filed a notice to appoint administrators from KPMG on Monday.

Bryon, which runs 51 sites, started a sale process with KPMG earlier this year after being forced to shut its sites in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Administrators at KPMG said that the brand and certain assets have been sold to newly-formed company Calveton, in a move which will protect its 20 remaining sites and 551 employees.

“In common with so many other companies across the leisure and casual dining industries, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Byron has been profound,” said Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.

General view of a Byron restaurant in Islington, north London (PA)

“After exploring a number of options to safeguard the future of the business and following a competitive sales process, this transaction ensures Byron will continue to have a presence on our high streets.”

Byron was founded by Tom Byng in 2007 but was purchased by current private equity owners Three Hills Capital in 2017.

Sandeep Vyas of Calveton added: “Byron is a pioneering brand much loved by customers across the UK.

“We are backing Byron because we believe it has great opportunity ahead of it, and it is well placed to adapt to the new consumer environment and dining trends.

“We will continue to bring Byron’s great tasting food to customers in restaurants and via digital on-demand platforms, whether they are at work, home or on the high street and we look forward to working with the team.”

Byron is not the only restaurant chain to have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This month the owner of Zizzi and Ask Italian revealed plans to permanently close 75 restaurants.

The Azzurri Group is being taken over in a rescue deal by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which plans to keep open 225 restaurants and shops, protecting 5,000 jobs.

Casual dining group Pizza Express is working on proposals for a restructure that could see around 75 of its branches close.

Additional reporting by PA Media.