City round-up: Revolution Bars; Co-op Bank; JD Sports

Co-op Bank said its first quarter trading is in line with expectations, in an update to the stock market this morning.

Last month the Manchester-based bank revealed it had agreed terms to be acquired by Coventry Building Society in a deal worth £780m.

In March it also announced plans to cut around 400 jobs as part of its transformation strategy.

It said its multi-year transformation programme is materially complete with significant milestones achieved and only seven per cent of total customers left to migrate.

Also, investment grade credit rating has been achieved and the long term deposit rating upgraded to Baa3 (Moody’s) in March.

The bank also confirmed that discussions regarding its potential acquisition are well advanced following completion of substantive due diligence.

CEO, Nick Slape, said: “I am very pleased with the bank’s performance in the first quarter of the year. Our low risk balance sheet remains resilient, with all key financial metrics and credit quality in line with expectations. We are focused on delivering value to our shareholders through the strength of our business model and the hard work of our colleagues.

“We have recently announced a series of organisational changes across the bank, which are expected to result in a net reduction of approximately 400 roles, and whilst the decision was not taken lightly, it is essential if we are to become a more agile and efficient organisation. Colleague wellbeing and customer service remain central throughout this process.”

He added: “On 18 April, the bank and Coventry Building Society announced that non-binding heads of terms had been agreed in relation to the potential acquisition of the bank, and are now working together on the next stages. In the meantime, we remain focused on delivering our strategic plan and great service for all our customers.”


Cocktails at Revolution Bars

Manchester-based Revolution Bars Group has confirmed it has had an “exploratory meeting” with London-based Nightcap, a company set up to acquire, recapitalise and develop drinks-led concepts, as part of its restructuring announced in March.

At the time, it said it was actively exploring all the strategic options available to it to improve the future prospects of the group. These include a restructuring plan for certain parts of the group, a sale of all or part of the group and any other avenue to maximise returns for stakeholders.

In responnse to press speculation, Revolution announced this morning that it had been in contact with Nightcap regarding a range of possible transactions, including a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Revolution.

It said Nightcap is not participating in the formal sales process, as announced on April 10.

​And it warned that there can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the group.

Under stock exchange rules, Nightcap now has until May 30 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Revolution or announce that it does not intend to make an offer.

In April Revolution revealed it was pursuing a twin track rescue and restructuring deal with £3m backing from entrepreneur Luke Johnson and up to £10.5m from other existing shareholders and investors.

The proposed fundraising will seek to raise up to £10.5m via a Firm Placing and Subscription and up to approximately £2m via the Placing and Open Offer.

Cornerstone investments of £9.5m had been secured and include £3m from Luke Johnson, £3m from the Robus Recovery Fund II and £3.5m from three key existing shareholders.


Mahbobeh Sabetnia

JD Sports Fashion, the Bury-based global sports and athleisurewear retailer, has revealed that Mahbobeh Sabetnia, a non-executive director and member of the Remuneration Committee having served on the board for nearly two-and-a-half years, has decided not to stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting on June 27, 2024, and will step down from the board at the conclusion of the meeting.

Mahbobeh has served as a member of the Remuneration Committee since November 29, 2021.

Chair, Andy Higginson, said: “Mahbobeh has made a valuable contribution to the board and in her role as a member of the Remuneration Committee.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank her for her time and wish her every success for the future.”

The board is now beginning a process to identify and appoint an additional independent non-executive director shortly.

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