1,300 jobs saved as nightclub owner bought out of administration

Some 1,300 jobs have been saved after Nordic nightlife group REKOM swooped for stricken British nightclub owner Deltic.

Newly-formed REKOM UK will buy up 42 Deltic bars and clubs across the country. The company, which owns the Pryzm nightclubs in Nottingham and Birmingham, Atik in Tamworth, Fiction in Hanley, Unique at JJ’s in Coventry and Chicago’s in Hanley, has been hit hard by the pandemic lockdowns and tiering restrictions in place across the UK since March.

REKOM Group is the largest nightlife group in the Nordics and operates more than 130 bars and clubs in Denmark, Finland and Norway. REKOM Group has been backed by the Danish private equity firm CataCap since 2018.

REKOM UK is expected to merge with REKOM Group when the nightlife business gets back to full operation as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Adam Falbert, REKOM Group CEO, said, “We have been looking at the UK market for the past few years as part of our ambition to become one of the largest pan European nightlife groups. When the opportunity came to take over a strong and well-run group like Deltic, it was a question of finding the right set-up to make it happen.”

He added, “We see a huge potential in the UK market for late night bars and clubs and are certain that the industry will bounce back as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.”

Deltic CEO, Peter Marks, and other members of the Deltic management team, will continue their current roles in REKOM UK.

Marks said: ““When REKOM emerged to buy us out of administration I was really happy. We were – through no fault of our own – put in a situation, where I was watching our business fall apart. It was having huge personal consequences for our many fantastic employees whom we have had to let go. With REKOM we get an owner that knows the industry, who will reopen most of the venues we have had to close down and are ready to invest in developing our position in the UK. So, with that in mind it was an easy choice to say yes to become part of the future of REKOM.”

Falbert said: “We are very aware, that COVID-19 is still very much among us, and that the restrictions on our business will remain for some time to come. But we are optimistic that the vaccines already approved in the UK and hopefully soon to be followed in the rest of Europe will spell an end to the restrictions. I am certain that we will see the industry bounce back quickly when they are lifted. And not least, I’m certain that are our guests are eager to get out to have the time of their lives after being under lockdown for almost a year.”

Birmingham-based investment banking firm Alantra advised REKOM. The Alantra team was led by Bobby Fletcher, based in London, and Sebastian Hougaard, based in Copenhagen.

Bobby Fletcher, a director in Alantra’s Real Estate & Hospitality team, said: “We’re delighted to have assisted in the acquisition of this leading business at a very difficult time for the UK’s leisure and hospitality operators. Deltic was a successful and highly profitable business before the pandemic and this acquisition provides a lifeline for the vast majority of Deltic’s locations, as well as saving a significant number of jobs.

The newly-formed REKOM UK is well placed to thrive once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted with the backing of an incredibly ambitious owner and a highly credible and experienced management team.”

REKOM was also advised by Hill Dickinson (legal). Admiistrator BDO was advised by Freeths (legal).

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...