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Fri 1st Nov 2013 - Zolfo Cooper closes 29 Bramwell Pub Company sites
Zolfo Cooper closes 29 Bramwell Pub Company sites: Zolfo Cooper, which placed Bramwell Pub Company in administration yesterday, has closed 29 sites from the tail-end of the 185-strong estate. The sites will be placed on the market with the agent Christie & Co. A number of the sites are likely to open again under new and, in all likelihood, local ownership. But the closure list represents a small but significant reduction in high street capacity. Among the sites that have been closed are: The Silkworm in Braintree, Essex; The Latchmere in Battersea, South London; The Pilgrim in Caterham, Surrey; The Oak Tree in Sevenoaks, Kent; The Phoenix in Ashford, Kent; the Wey Bridge in Alton, Hampshire; The Lanyard in Portsmouth; The Varsity in Plymouth; The Clipper in Weymouth, Dorset; the Buccaneer in Barry, South Wales; the Bidding in Llanelli, South Wales; Trillians Rock Bar in Newcastle upon Tyne; Pow Burn in North Shields, Tyne and Wear; The Hornblower Tavern in Ripon, Yorkshire; The Goodbridge in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire; The Gravity in Hinckley, Leicestershire; The Glass Works in Rugeley, Staffordshire; the Courtyard in Cannock, Staffordshire; The Waldron in Crewe, Cheshire; the Maskery in Congleton, Cheshire; The Sanctuary in Didsbury, Manchester; Varsity in Manchester; The Phoenix in Southport, Lancashire; and the Wyre Light in Fleetwood, Lancashire. In addition five sites in Scotland were also shuttered yesterday. Barracuda employs 3,300 staff across the UK so the site closures represent an estimated loss of several hundred jobs. This morning, Propel reported that Zolfo Cooper has hired LT Pub Management, the sector’s leading out-sourced management company, to run the Bramwell sites that are still open. Bramwell, which was led by Roger Moxham, was placed in administration yesterday just over 13 months after it was formed out of the Barracuda Pub Company. A total of 18 sites were left behind when the new company was formed at the start of October 2012. But the administration is an indication that the number was not high enough, and the company ended up running too many sites vulnerable to the current competitive environment. Industry sources suggest Stonegate Pub Company is the most likely buyer of the company’s best venues, although it is thought this number may only be around the 80-site mark. If Stonegate completes the deal, it is likely the rest of the estate will be sold in small packages or individually. Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: "We will continue to trade the business while exploring all possible options for its future, including a sale of the business, and would like to thank the staff for their continued support and professionalism during this process. We would invite parties wishing to make an expression of interest in certain sites to contact Zolfo Cooper.”

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