888 Holdings and Rank consider bid for William Hill: 888 Holdings and The Rank Group (The Consortium) have confirmed they are partnering to evaluate a possible offer for William Hill. The two possible bidding partners stated: “The Consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale which will accrue to all shareholders. No formal approach has yet been made to the Board of William Hill and there can be no certainty that any such approach will be made. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that any transaction will ultimately take place, nor as to the terms on which any such transaction might be constituted. A further announcement will be made in due course.”
Marechale Capital reports revenues down: Leisure sector funder Marechale Capital’s has reported revenues for the year to 31 March 2015 were £742,000 (2015: £965,000) down on last year resulting in a gross profit of £446,000 (2015: £694,000), and a loss of £91,000 (2015: Profit of £150,000). The company stated: “These results reflect the difficulty in completing some deals in the current economic environment. Although the revenue figure is reduced, the company has successfully mandated some exciting client transactions whilst putting measures in place to strengthen the company’s resources and particularly its ability to undertake and complete transactions. Marechale provides corporate finance advice and capital fund raising for growth companies. Fund raising activities center on two key areas. Firstly in growth capital private equity transactions for more established businesses, and secondly in development capital, fundraising for smaller growth companies, the latter typically being Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) qualifying. As part of its success fee, the company secures warrants or equity on most of its projects, enabling Marechale’s shareholders to have the opportunity of sharing in the potential upside of the equity value in these businesses. The company’s primary sector of operation, in which the team have a long term track record, is consumer brands, leisure and retail. The company successfully completed a number of leisure deals during the year. Further EIS funding has been raised for the brewhouse business, Brewhouse & Kitchen, and the East Anglia-based gastro pub group, Chestnut Inns. Growth capital funding was also completed for The Rum Kitchen restaurant group, and equity funding has been raised for the acquisition of a Mallorca luxury resort hotel with a leading hotel management team. These further endorse Marechale’s leading position in funding businesses in the leisure sector.”
Fatto a Mano to double up with new restaurant in Hove: Neapolitan pizzeria Fatto a Mano, which opened last summer on London Road, Brighton is expanding to a second neighbourhood restaurant, on Church Road in Hove. Its traditional wood-fired pizzas, made using authentic ingredients, and focus on friendly, welcoming service have established Fatto a Mano’s popularity among locals. It was recently voted one of Brighton’s Top 20 Restaurants – the only pizzeria on the list. The new site on the corner of Church and Wilbury Road fits in perfectly with Fatto a Mano’s ethos – great, fresh food at prices accessible to all, in walk-in restaurants that are at the heart of a local area. “Hove has one of the city’s closest-knit communities,” said owner Rupert Davidson. “The building itself is amazing, there’s so much heritage; it was home to a well-loved Italian family restaurant for almost 30 years. We couldn’t let the opportunity to take this site pass us by as we may not have found such a perfect spot for a long time. We’re a local start up, and are building a culture we’ll always be proud of,” Davidson says. “We won’t compromise on the quality of our product. A lot of thought, love and effort will keep going into making the Fatto a Mano experience great for our customers. Hove will have the same simple menu, with great prices, and using the best ingredients.” Fatto a Mano Hove will open in mid-August 2016.
Star Pubs & Bars launches first food training for pub staff: Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars, which has an estate of more than 1,000 tenanted pubs, is launching a series of specialist food workshops to help Star licensees grow their own talent. The aim of the one-day, practical workshops is to directly address the shortage of skilled kitchen staff in the industry. Four different workshops will be run – meat and poultry, fish and shellfish, menu development and healthy eating and allergens. Star is investing £24,000 in providing 12 workshops in the next six months. Attendance on the courses is free with 240 pubs set to benefit in 2016. The workshops are suitable for staff who are being trained up to work in the kitchen as well as licensees wanting to improve their own food skills. Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “Food is a massive income opportunity for pubs. Customer expectations are higher than ever and the food has got to be good for licensees to succeed. Trained kitchen staff are essential to deliver great food and with a crisis in the availability of qualified people we want to do all we can to make the necessary training available.” The workshops build on a suite of food training that Star Pubs & Bars has introduced over the last year as part of its Star Food programme. This includes: extended food training for new licensees as part of their induction; independent chef consultancy at licensees’ pubs and five-day residential foundation cookery skills courses for licenses wanting to extend their food offer.