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Sun 28th Aug 2016 - Be At One eyes £60m sale, Hollywood Bowl owners revive £280m stock market float
Be At One eyes £60m sale: Cocktail bar brand Be At One is eyeing a sale of the company. The owners, who are backed by private equity firm Piper, have been talking to bankers about a sale of the company, which is valued between £50m and £60m. Zolfo Cooper, a division of Alix Partners, is thought to be working with the chain, reports The Sunday Times. Be At One, which was founded by Steve Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield in 1998, offers a range of more than 150 cocktails at its bars. It aims to ensure customers are met with eye contact by a bartender within five seconds, drinks are made in one minute, and change for payment is given in 30 seconds. The company is due to open its 33rd site next month, in Nottingham having launched in Battersea, south London. Piper paid £8m for a stake in 2011.

Hollywood Bowl owners revive £280m stock market float: The owners of Hollywood Bowl Group have revived plans for a £280m stock market float of the country’s largest ten-pin bowling operator, which was pulled earlier this year because of the uncertainty caused by the Brexit referendum. It is understood marketing materials for a share sale were sent to fund managers last week, ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) that has been pencilled in for the second half of September. Electra, the private equity firm that owns Hollywood Bowl, and investment bankers at Investec are still targeting a market valuation of about £280m. The float of the company, which has 54 sites around the country, was among the deals that became a casualty of Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union, which took financial markets by surprise. Electra and Investec took the bold decision to unveil the share sale in the week before the referendum. They had hoped that the lull in deals in the run-up to the vote would mean it would be one of the few floats in front of fund managers and would raise interest. However, the referendum result, which had not been anticipated by many in the City, led to a bout of stock market volatility that forced Electra and Investec to postpone the IPO. Now that the summer, traditionally a quiet time for floats, is drawing to a close, a number of companies are eyeing share sales alongside Hollywood Bowl. This includes private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners, which is readying doughnut business Krispy Kreme UK for a float that is likely to take place in October. That IPO, which was first unveiled in March, is also being handled by Investec. An IPO of Hollywood Bowl would result in Electra slashing its 85% stake in the leisure company. The private equity firm bought the business in 2014, when it was called The Original Bowling Company, and last year combined it with smaller rival Bowlplex. In the 12 months to September 2015, it generated pre-tax profits of £20.6m on revenues of £86m under chief executive Steve Burns. 

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