A Dublin company legally owned by a retired accountant and his wife and linked to British celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, was receiving payments of €1.2 million a year from a high-end Australian restaurant that has now collapsed owing millions to its workers.
The Irish Times reports that the Cabinteely, Dublin 18 company, Bacon & Egg Ice Cream Ltd, held intellectual property rights linked to the Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant, in Melbourne, Australia.
The Dublin company, which is named after one of Mr Blumenthal’s signature recipes, is owned by retired Dublin accountant, Roger Copsey and his wife, Pauline, according to filings in the Companies Registration Office.
The company is “primarily engaged in the exploitation of intellectual property rights”, according to the notes to its accounts.
The Australian restaurant has now collapsed, with a creditors report stating that the major financial issue confronting the business was the “underpayment of employee entitlements over a period of four years from commencement of business until circa June 2019, when the employment arrangements were changed to comply with employment legislation”.
The business owes its workers 4.4 million Australian dollars (€2.7 million), with most of that arising from the historical underpayment of its employees.
Yet since its inception the venture involved intellectual property obligations of £1 million being paid, each year, in advance, to Bacon & Egg Ice Cream, according to the creditors report. It is understood that the company is in fact part of a corporate structure linked to the UK and Australian restaurants that use the Blumenthal name, with the group having its ultimate parent company, the Lowenthal Corporation, in the Isle of Man.
It is understood Mr Blumenthal is not a shareholder in the corporate structure behind the restaurants that bear his name.