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Wed 20th Nov 2013 - Breaking News - Eclectic floats on AIM in £15m fundraising
Eclectic floats on AIM in £15m fundraising: The premium bar operator Eclectic and its backer Avanti Capital have raised £15m in a float that will see the company's shares traded on AIM from 28 November. The float is the first by a bar operator for six years. Eclectic, which currently runs some 20 outlets under brand names including Lola Lo, Sakura, Po Na Na and Fez Club, has conditionally placed more than 6.52 million shares at 160p each to raise £10.5m, giving it a market capitalisation of approximately £20.6m. At the same time, Avanti is selling another 2.85m shares for £4.5m to sell down completely its shareholding in Eclectic. The bar company will use the net proceeds of  the placing to repay a £7.3m loan to Avanti, with the remaining £1.8m used to fund organic growth and new site acquisitions. Eclectic's management will be left with 27% of the ordinary shares, which will be subject to a 12-month lock-in period. Reuben Harley, Eclectic's chief executive, said: “We are delighted with the support and reception that we have received from investors, resulting in additional funds being raised, allowing Avanti to exit completely and Eclectic to begin life on AIM with a larger free float and a supportive institutional shareholder base." Earlier this month, Harley told the Financial Times that he thinks the company could have as many as 50 outlets over the next decade. In October it reported sales up 7% to £21.197m in the 12 months to the end of June 2013, with company ebitda  2% higher at £2.92m.

Administrators in at PBR Leisure: Administrators have shut two sites run by PBR Leisure after being called in as a result of the company hitting cash flow problems. The administrators, from Zolfo Cooper, said the company's remaining five sites would continue to trade while "a range of options" was explored, including the sale of the individual sites as a going concern. Up to last month, when the contract ran out. PBR's sites were being run for it by the bar operator Eclectic. Until August this year, PBR Leisure owned the Living Room premium bar and restaurant brand, with a total of 14 sites, which it sold that month to Stonegate Pub Company. Last month it transferred the management of eight late-night venues to LT Pub Management. In February it had gone through a refinancing deal that reduced its debt by about two thirds via a debt-for-equity swap with its RBS-led banking group. The deal left it with debt of £20m, down from 61.1m at the end of 2011. Until last week, PBR still ran bars and hotels in the North East of England and Belfast and employed a total of 153 staff, of whom 54 have now been made redundant. Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper, and one of the administrators, said: “It is regrettable that there was no alternative but to close two of the sites resulting in a number of redundancies, however, we will continue to trade the remaining business while exploring all possible options for its future including a sale of the sites and welcome expressions of interest from third parties." PBR began life as Premium Bars and Restaurants, a renaming of Ultimate Leisure in 2007, but first went into administration in 2009, when it was rescued by Orchid.


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