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Jamie Oliver’s Australian Italian Restaurants Are in Jeopardy

Six of Oliver's Australian restaurants will be sold

The restaurant operator behind Jamie Oliver's chain of Italian restaurants in Australia has gone into receivership, often a step in conjunction with bankruptcy. The company is responsible for a total of 17 bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the country, including six Jamie's Italian restaurants.

Yahoo News Australia reports that Keystone Hospitality Group, one of Australia's biggest hospitality companies, was put into the hands of receivers on Tuesday. According to The Australian, the bankruptcy arose "due to an inability to reach agreement with the board on key aspects of the group's financial structure."

The venues operated by Keystone will reportedly remain in operation while each is prepared for sale. "For employees, venue operations and customers, it is business as usual as we undertake the sale process," receiver Morgan Kelly told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Jamie Oliver launched the Jamie's Italian brand in 2008. It has since grown to more than 40 restaurants worldwide, with more currently in the works, according to its website. In 2012, it was reported that Oliver would be expanding the concept to the U.S., though no announcements have been made since then. The chain has found itself in hot water before — with waitstaff, who accused the restaurant of having "exploitative" tipping policies last year.

As the bankruptcy only concerns the company in charge of his six Australian locations of Jamie's Italian, it likely won't affect other Jamie's Italian outlets (or the celebrity chef's other businesses). Meanwhile, Oliver has paused plans to open a restaurant in Wellington, New Zealand.

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