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Hamburger Hamlet CEO Quits, Deal Fizzles

Restaurants: Grill Concepts, which was to acquire the chain, failed to get financing.


The Sherman Oaks-based Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain on Tuesday announced the resignation of its chief executive and the collapse of a deal under which it would have been acquired by the operator of Daily Grill restaurants.

Brentwood-based Grill Concepts Inc. was to have paid more than $10 million for the 19-restaurant chain under a Bankruptcy Court reorganization plan filed in July by Hamburger Hamlet Inc., which has been under Chapter 11 protection since December 1995.

But Grill Concepts was unable to obtain the required financing, Hamburger Hamlet said in a statement.

Grill Concepts said it could not get financial backing for the original deal after examining Hamburger Hamlet's financial records. Grill Concepts President Robert Spivak said he is trying to negotiate a new deal.

"The cash flow did not meet the original cash flow projections we received from Hamburger Hamlet," Spivak said. "We're still talking and we still hope to reach agreement."

Hamburger Hamlet executives were not immediately available for comment.

The company's statement said Shawn Holder resigned as chief executive and president, positions he had held for two years. Holder will remain on the Hamburger Hamlet board. Current Chairman Richard E. Matthews will assume the duties of chief executive and president.

Matthews will attempt to develop a new reorganization plan, which could be based on a new merger or deal with a potential buyer, the statement said.

Grill Concepts operates The Grill in Beverly Hills as well as seven Daily Grill restaurants in Southern California.

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