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Wed 20th Feb 2013 - Breaking News - New company buys Antic sites
New company Gregarious buys Antic sites out of administration: A new company, Gregarious, has bought 12 of the 14 Antic Limited leasehold sites that were placed in administration last month. Gregarious is led by Max Alderman, who also works for Antic London as its operation manager - and funding for the deal has been provided by investment fund Downing. The Gregarious venues will be run under the Antic London banner, which is the trading name for a collection of 24 other pubs that are held in a variety of legal vehicles. Antic founder Anthony Thomas is not linked to Gregarious, which was incorporated at Companies House five days ago on 15 February. Only two sites from the original Antic Limited estate have been handed back to their landlords, one of which was not open at the time of the administration. The pubs acquired by Gregarious are: White Hart, Stoke Newington, Jam Circus, Brockley, Pepper St Ontiod, Crossharbour, Balham Bowls Club, Balham, Royal Albert, Deptford, The Tiger Camberwell Green, The Wheatsheaf, Tooting, The Kings Head, Clapham, The Bohemia, North Finchley, Stapleton Tavern, Finchley Park, Battersea Mess, Battersea and the Acton Arms, Acton. Antic Limited was placed in administration with Chantrey Vellacott after problems paying sums due to HRMC. The administration did not affect the 24 pubs operated under the Antic London banner. A total of 11 freehold pubs in the group are co-owned with Downing with four other freehold acquisitions in the pipeline – the 11 sites are run through a variety of independent legal vehicles. Antic has been credited with helping to revitalise several unfashionable south and east London high streets with its quirky and characterful pubs. Its Leytonstone High Road pub, for example, has won several awards including CAMRA’s East London Pub of the Year. In its most recent accounts, filed in October last year, Antic Limited had net current liabilities of £929,000 as at 31 December 2011, including short term bank loans and overdrafts of £125,000. The short-term bank loans and overdrafts were repaid in February 2012 following the sale of a leasehold interest. The company stated: “However, net debt facilities have yet to be secured by the company to fund its working capital requirements.” The company identified the need to find new investors and raise fresh equity “within the next 12 months” to deliver its business plan. The company added: “However, due to the need to successfully identify investors and complete a placing, including obtaining shareholder consent in general, there is a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the ability to continue as a going concern.”
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