300 jobs saved as deal agreed for bar group

Bierkeller

Bierkeller owner Burningnight has been bought out of administration, bringing Christmas cheer to more than 300 people whose jobs have been saved.

Bierkeller

Sites in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham, which also operate under the Shooters and Around The World In 80 Beers brands, will now stay open. The Potting Shed in Harrogate, which was part of the group, has also been saved.

The business has been bought by a special purpose vehicle created by Leeds-based turnaround specialists Access Commercial Finance, which was a secured creditor of Burningnight.

Access Commercial Investors 6 was represented by Clarion Solicitors and advised on the commercial aspects of the transaction by Matt Haycox.

Matt Haycox

Haycox said: “Due to the highly complex nature of the transaction, a purchase to a third party couldn’t be concluded so Access decided to step in and acquire the business which provided the best solution for creditors, customers and employees alike.

“It’s been a fraught few days but we got there in the end.”

The leisure operator went into administration in October owing £11.2m. Two-thirds of the debts, £7.5m, was money raised from 936 investors in summer 2017 on the crowdfunding platform Crowdstacker.

The £25m-turnover group’s last published accounts showed a loss of £1.5m in the year to July 2017. Some of its sites continued to underperform and its Cardiff site was closed in August 2018.

Within weeks a winding-up petition was lodged leading to the appointment of Andrew Mackenzie and Julian Pitts of Begbies Trayno​r and Chris Brooksbank of O’Haras as joint administrators to the group and its nine subsidiaries.

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