Banks could chase celebrity chef Jamie Oliver over debts owed by his collapsed restaurant empire.
Reports say the TV star, worth an estimated £240million, provided personal guarantees to HSBC and food supplier Brakes after a previous restructuring.
This would, it is believed, allow them to claim against him for any unpaid bills. HSBC is said to be tens of millions of pounds out of pocket.
A spokesman for Oliver refused to comment on the debts.
However the chef said he was “devastated” by the closure of all but three of his 25 outlets.
He added in a statement: “We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining, with great value and much higher quality ingredients.”
However a reported £5million deal with Shell to launch a deli range in its petrol stations was criticised.
Today Oliver also had to contend with the fury of his staff, with 1,000 losing their jobs.
One said :“I’m really angry. Jamie won’t be the one looking to for a job and struggling to pay his bills.”
Oliver was known to have pumped £4million into the restaurant business since the beginning of the year.
Jamie Oliver Holdings, which looks after his media empire, loaned the restaurant arm £7.5million in 2017 and £3.6million last year.
It kissed goodbye to £2.4million of what it was owed in 2017.
However the Holdings business could suffer further.
Documents at Companies House show Santander provided funding for an undisclosed amount to it in February, with a registered charge against its assets.
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