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Wed 21st Jan 2015 - Walkabout operator to undertake CVA to shed sites
Walkabout operator to undertake CVA to shed sites: Walkabout operator Intertain, owned by Jon Moulton-led private equity firm Better Capital and operating 32 sites, is to undertake a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to secure the long term future of the business. The move will allow the business to focus on selected sites backed by a commitment to capital investment programme The company’s stakeholders have agreed a financial restructuring to strengthen the balance sheet and reduce the debt burden from £30m to £14m, conditional on the approval of the CVA. Intertain Bars Limited, a subsidiary of Intertain, has proposed a Company Voluntary Arrangement to revise lease terms and refocus the business on a smaller, more profitable core estate. The company’s lenders will commit £6m of new money to fund its capital investment programme, conditional on the approval of the CVA. Chief executive John Leslie said: “Walkabout is a strong brand with a loyal customer base and most of our sites are performing well, generating a good level of return. However, a few sites are loss making or have onerous leases, so to continue running them as they are is not viable. Although we will have to exit a number of sites, our hope is that some of those that are currently not generating an acceptable return will become viable if their rent is reduced to current market levels. The most effective way to make this happen is through a CVA, which will be the least disruptive to the business and will provide the best return to landlords. The plan we have announced today is crucial for reducing our level of debt, providing the right operational structure for the business and securing a strong and sustainable future for Intertain. We hope that creditors will accept our proposals which will provide us with the necessary financial strength to be able to access new market opportunities and resume our investment programme to the benefit of all of our stakeholders.” Detailed CVA proposal documents have been made available to creditors of Intertain Bars Limited today, with a vote on the proposals on the 6 February 2015. Intertain has appointed Zolfo Cooper as its restructuring advisor to oversee the process and administer the CVA. Zolfo Cooper has consulted the British Property Federation on the terms of the CVA in order to gain its input and ensure the interests of the landlord community are fully considered.

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