Hawaiian food chain Island Poke has been sold to a hospitality start-up backer in a rescue deal, saving more than 100 jobs.

Island Poke which has a branch in Brighton’s West Street, has been bought in a so-called pre-pack administration deal by IP Topco, which is a subsidiary of White Rabbit Projects.

White Rabbit was an existing shareholder in Island Poke, since it first backed the firm in 2016.

Administrators at Begbies Traynor – who were appointed on June 26 – said the sale has secured more than 100 jobs at the chain which has 16 sites across London, as well as outlets in Newcastle and Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Island Poke takes over Brighton Vans store in West Street

Island Poke ahead of its opening in August 2023Island Poke ahead of its opening in August 2023 (Image: The Argus)

It comes after Island Poke had sought to put in place a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to restructure the business, but administrators said efforts on this failed.

They said: "Whilst the CVA had been put to creditors and was widely supported by them it became apparent to the directors from daily trading that the forecasts on which the CVA was built were not likely to be deliverable, thereby undermining the viability of the proposal which was scheduled to continue for five years.

"In the circumstances and in parallel with the CVA procedure the directors engaged BTG Advisory to run an accelerated marketing campaign with a view to identifying a buyer for the business.

"Throughout this period, a constant dialogue was maintained with the secured creditor, NatWest, who approved both the appointment and sale by way of a pre-pack administration."

Island Poke was set up by James Porter after he quit his job at an art gallery to start selling the Hawaiian-inspired food at a street food market.

The first Island Poke restaurant opened in Kingly Street in London’s Soho in 2016.