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Jamie Oliver buys back his Australian chain of restaurants

Jamie Oliver has swooped in to buy back his restaurant business in Australia.

The TV chef is set to take over all six of his Jamie’s Italian branches after Keystone Hospitality, which ran the operation, went into receivership.

Oliver, who has 42 restaurants in the UK and more than 25 abroad run under his name, said the move would allow him to spend more time developing the franchise.

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.’

Keystone, which ran the chain’s branches in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Parramatta, Perth and Sydney, was placed into the hands of creditors in June after it failed to renegotiate a £49m deal with its lenders KKR and Olympus Capital.

The group also partly blamed strict alcohol laws in Sydney for the failure of some of its ventures.

Receiver Morgan Kelly said the takeover by Oliver, 41, was the ‘ideal outcome’.

He added: ‘Jamie Oliver taking control over the restaurants is an exciting outcome for the staff and patrons. The Australian Jamie’s Italian franchises are all popular and profitable restaurants and can now go from strength to strength under the direct management of the Jamie Oliver Group.’