Fish and chip chain Deep Blue has bought Harry Ramsden’s from Boparen Restaurant Group (BRG), making it the largest player in the fish and chip market.
The deal sees Deep Blue take over the entire estate of the 90-year old Harry Ramsden’s brand, debt free. This includes 34 sites - two in Ireland, one in Malaysia and the rest across the UK.
Having been predominately focussed in the South East, the move gives Deep Blue a bigger presence across the UK and particularly in the north, an area it has been increasingly moving into of late, having acquired a number of sites in Yorkshire recently.
Added to Deep Blue’s existing businesses, the Ramsden's takeover boosts the chain to over 60 takeaways and restaurants, including one in Palma de Mallorca airport plus two mobile units.
Deep Blue is yet to reveal its plans for the new combined business, however, it is anticipated that many of the flagship Harry Rasmden’s will continue trading under the Ramsden's name, while some smaller ones will be rebranded and incorporated into the Deep Blue business.
James Low, founder and CEO of Deep Blue, comments: “We are delighted with this transaction which has accelerated our growth, making us the largest player in the market by a considerable margin. Our immediate focus will be on the integration of the business into the Deep Blue organisation. Our amalgamation with Harry Ramsden’s is a key milestone in our development but we remain committed to exploiting the unparalleled opportunities within the sector for further expansion.”
Tom Crowley, CEO of BRG comments: “This is an important strategic move for BRG and one which enables us to simplify our future business and allow us to focus on the opportunities for our core brands of Giraffe, Ed’s Easy Diner, Fishworks and the roll out of Slim Chickens, whilst still retaining an ongoing interest in the fish and chip sector.”
Deep Blue opened its first fish and chip shop in 2003. In 2016, it bought Harry Ramsden's site in Newmarket, Cambridge.
Boparen Restaurant Group bought Harry Ramsden’s from SSP in 2010.