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Mon 24th Dec 2018 - Burning Night bought out of administration, TRG completes £559m Wagamama deal
Burning Night Group bought out of administration: Bar company Burning Night Group has been bought out of administration, saving more 300 jobs. Bierkeller sites in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham, which also operate under the Shooters and Around The World In 80 Beers brands, will now stay open. The Potting Shed in Harrogate, which was part of the group, has also been saved. The business has been bought by a special purpose vehicle created by Leeds-based turnaround specialists Access Commercial Finance, which was a secured creditor of Burning Night Group. Access Commercial was represented by Clarion Solicitors and advised on the commercial aspects of the transaction by Matt Haycox. Haycox told The Business Desk: “Due to the highly complex nature of the transaction, a purchase to a third party couldn’t be concluded so Access decided to step in and acquire the business which provided the best solution for creditors, customers and employees alike. It’s been a fraught few days but we got there in the end.” Burning Night Group went into administration in October owing £11.2m. Two-thirds of the debt, £7.5m, was money raised from 936 investors in the summer of 2017 on crowdfunding platform Crowdstacker. Burning Night Group’s last published accounts showed a loss of £1.5m in the year to July 2017. Its Cardiff Bierkeller site was closed in August this year. Within weeks a winding-up petition was lodged leading to the appointment of Andrew Mackenzie and Julian Pitts of Begbies Traynor and Chris Brooksbank of O’Haras as joint administrators to the group and its nine subsidiaries.

TRG completes £559m Wagamama deal: The Restaurant Group (TRG) has announced the completion of the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Mabel Topco, the holding company of a group that owns and operates the Wagamama restaurant business, for £559m. Further to the announcement made by TRG on 30 October, Wagamama chairman Allan Leighton has joined the board of directors of TRG as a non-executive director. Leighton will be a member of both the audit and nomination committees He is currently chairman of Co-operative Group and Entertainment One, among others, and has previously been chief executive of Asda and Pandora A/S and chairman of Pace and Royal Mail. TRG chairman Debbie Hewitt said: “We’d like to thank all shareholders for their engagement in this process and we look forward to delivering the benefits of the acquisition. We welcome all Wagamama colleagues and thank them and all of our colleagues at TRG for their continued focus on our customers during this busy period. We are delighted to welcome Allan to our board. He brings significant knowledge of the sector, and of the Wagamama team and a wealth of experience in growing consumer businesses.” TRG used a combination of cash, debt and a £315m fully underwritten rights issue to fund the acquisition. It has previously said there was potential for a further 40 to 60 Wagamama sites in the UK, while TRG expected to convert at least 15 outlets to the Wagamama brand by 2020.

The Breakfast Club secures Portabello Road site for ninth London venue: The Breakfast Club, which is currently embarking on a £750,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube for its next stage of growth, has added to its London footprint by securing a site in Portabello Road. The new site marks the company’s ninth in the capital and 12th in total. It stated: “We’re delighted to announce we’ve reached an agreement for a The Breakfast Club in the wonderful Portobello Road. It’s going to be a beautiful little addition to The Breakfast Club family.” The Breakfast Club was founded in 2005 by brother and sister-in-law, Jonathan and Alison Arana-Morton and has grown from a small 20-seater cafe in Soho to a £15.2m a year turnover, 350-staff business. It has site Ebitda of more than £2m a year. The Breakfast Club is offering 4.49% equity in return for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £15,969,000. So far, 251 investors have pledged £216,160 with 26 days remaining. The pitch states: “The Breakfast Club is positioned in the market as a leading London restaurant brand, focusing on breakfast and brunch. But The Breakfast Club is so much more than what happens before midday. Nearly 65% of our business is during the lunch and dinner service. In an industry dominated by fads and trends, The Breakfast Club is an established brand with a proven record of continued success. And after 13 years we are still widely recognised for the size of our queues.” As well as sites in the capital, The Breakfast Club has a venue in each of Brighton and Oxford.

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email

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