Jamie Oliver to buy back Australia restaurant business
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is set to buy back his Jamie's Italian restaurants business in Australia.
He has swooped after Keystone Group, which ran the operation, went into receivership and put the franchise up for sale.
Mr Oliver said he was "excited" about bringing the six restaurants back in-house.
The TV-chef has 42 restaurants in the UK and more than 25 abroad run under his name.
Financial adviser Ferrier Hodgson, which is handling the sale, said Mr Oliver was the preferred bidder and that his return would be the "ideal outcome".
Mr Oliver said the Australian restaurants - located in Sydney and nearby Parramatta, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide - were among the best performing of his global chain and that he planned putting more money into them.
"This will be a really exciting moment for me personally and I know the guys will be ecstatic to be back in-house," he said.
"It will allow us to invest even more time and money in people and restaurants, celebrate great Aussie produce and be even more creative."
Collapsed Keystone Group's other venues include a range of pubs, restaurants and hotels across Australia, some of which have already been sold since the firm went into receivership in June after failing to renegotiate loans with its investors.
It partly blamed strict alcohol and lock-out laws in Sydney for the failure of some of its ventures.