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Mon 19th Mar 2018 - Conviviality chief executive steps down
Conviviality chief executive steps down: Conviviality, the UK alcohol wholesaler serving consumers through the on-trade and its franchise retail estate, has announced chief executive Diana Hunter has stepped down. Non-executive chairman David Adams is stepping into the role of executive chairman until further notice. Hunter will remain with the company for a period of time in order to “provide transition support”. Conviviality stated: “The company is continuing to engage with stakeholders as set out in the announcement of Friday, 16 March and will provide a further update in due course.” Conviviality previously said talks were ongoing as it bids to make up a cash shortfall to pay an unexpected £30m tax bill by the end of the month. PricewaterhouseCoopers is undertaking a review of the business and Conviviality is engaging with its advisers and broker regarding the possibility of an equity fund-raise to effect a recapitalisation of the business. Last week, Conviviality stopped trading on AIM and cancelled its interim dividend payment, freeing up £8.2m, as it bids to find the money required to pay HM Revenue & Customs by the end of the month. Earlier this month, Conviviality warned it expected adjusted Ebitda to come in 20% below market expectations. The company later said it would fall in a range of between £55.3m and £56.4m.

Cambridge-based vegan restaurant Stem + Glory launches £350,000 crowdfunding campaign to open third site, in London: Cambridge-based vegan restaurant Stem + Glory has launched a £350,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open its third site, this time in London. The company opened its first site in Cambridge in October 2016 after raising more than £97,000 in a campaign on Crowdfunder. The restaurant has experienced an 84% increase in turnover year-on-year and Stem + Glory opened a second site, in Cambridge city centre, in November 2017. In the new campaign, Louise Palmer-Masterton is offering a 15% stake in return for investment and plans to open a site in a high-footfall area in Old Street, London, in July before preparing the brand for roll-out. So far, the campaign has already raised £309,260 from 278 investors with 29 days remaining. Stem + Glory offers gourmet vegan food from locally sourced ingredients with all dishes made on-site and available to eat in or take away. Its restaurants also feature a vegan bar offering craft beer, fine wine, cocktails, mocktails and smart drinks. Palmer-Masterton also founded yoga brand Camyoga, while fellow director Jim Masters was part of nightclub Ministry of Sound and was instrumental in setting up its record label, now the biggest compilation label in the world. He has also hosted nightclubs across London for more than 20 years, including Ultimate Base with friend and fellow DJ Carl Cox. The pitch states: “Stem + Glory is on a mission to change the way we view vegan food by offering healthy food, kinder to the environment, with no compromise on flavour. Demand for plant-based food is seeing huge growth in the UK. Last year, Ocado saw a 1,500% increase in plant-based food sales and Just Eat a 987% increase in demand for meat-free meals. Despite this growth, vegan restaurants are hugely under-represented. Of 18,302 restaurants in London, only 0.1% are fully vegan. Stem + Glory offers the opportunity to invest in a proven and ethical project, right at the start of an emerging market set to grow rapidly over the next ten years.”

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