Coffeesmiths Collective bought Filmore & Union for £350,000: Coffeesmiths Collective, the acquisitive coffee shop company led by Toby Smith, bought 11 Filmore & Union coffee sites at the end of May for £350,000 in a pre-pack administration, new documents at Companies House show. A total of £50,000 was paid upon completion of the deal with the remainder being paid as deferred consideration with £150,000 being conditional on agreement for occupation being settled with landlords. The Companies House report states: “Whilst the group was profitable at unit level, sales had been in decline for a period of circa 18 months. And the business had substantial central overheads (including a head office and central kitchen), which rendered the group loss-making as a whole. The management accounts to March 2019 reflected a loss for the year of approximately £730,000 (Full Year 2018: approximately £610,000 loss). In January 2019, in light of an offer to acquire the company being withdrawn and continued poor trading result, the board approached Business Growth Fund (BGF) regarding further investment. BGF provided £240,000 of investment by way of secured loans to assist cash flow and to allow the business to continue to trade. This allowed for a review of the business to be undertaken and a turnaround plan to be prepared. The company granted BGF a debenture and an unsecured guarantee was provided by each of the subsidiaries. Following this review, BGF had indicated in principle they may provide further funding of up to £800,000 to support the turnaround with a further £400,000 to support growth. However, a further review indicated that trading results had been materially worse than originally anticipated and there was a fundamental concern over the sustainability of retaining earnings from a key profitable site. Therefore, the funding required to support the turnaround and growth plan was now considered to be in the region of £1.8m to £2m. A formal request was put into BGF in early May 2019 for the increased funding – however, it was declined.” BGF held a 34.9% stake in Filmore & Union whilst crowdfunders held a further 15.7% stake. Filmore &Union was established in 2012 by Adele Ashley with the aim of serving fresh and seasonal food. In September 2017, Filmore & Union was given a £3.5m investment from the BGF to open new sites. Coffeesmiths Collective rolls out and acquires specialty coffee shops and companies preserving, wherever appropriate, the strong individual identities of those regarded as “local institutions”. The company said it “brings light touch economies of scale enhancing the customer experience and increasing shareholder value without altering the fabric of the uniqueness of many of its established assets”. Its flagship brand is Department of Coffee & Social Affairs. It also owns Bea’s of Bloomsbury, Small Batch Coffee, Baker & Spice, Nordic Bakery and Urban Tea Rooms.
Just Eat UK marketing director Ben Carter is promoted: Just Eat has changed its UK marketing team after Ben Carter left to run the brand’s operations in Australia and New Zealand. Carter has joined Menulog, a regional sub-brand, as managing director this month after three years as UK marketing director. He is being replaced by Matthew Bushby, who is being promoted after two years as head of growth marketing. Bushby joined Just Eat from Findmypast, where he was marketing director and head of social networking platform Friends Reunited. Andy Smith, Just Eat UK head of customer marketing, replaces Bushby as head of growth marketing. Carter replaced the departing Alistair Venn as Menulog managing director and is tasked with implementing the company’s “acceleration strategy”. He will also be charged with continuing the regional operation’s collaboration with Global Delivery group, Just Eat’s Canada-based business that develops the technology for the company’s ordering platform. Just Eat acquired Menulog for £445m in 2015, allowing it to enter the Australia and New Zealand markets.
Incentives on offer for outlets serving healthy food: Food outlets will get tax cuts for putting salads on their menu, under Government plans to combat obesity – venue will receive discounts on their business rates, if they offer healthy options. The plans will also see councils banning planning permission for new outlets which only serve junk food, and prioritising applications by those which offer meals low in fat and sugar. The schemes will also see cut-price advertising for retailers offering healthy fare, improvements in nursery school foods and mosques asked to introduce lessons for children in exercise and nutrition. One in five children are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school, rising to one in three by the time they leave. Public health minister Seema Kennedy backed five council-led programmes to tackle childhood obesity, which will be rolled out nationally, if they succeed. Among the five are Blackburn with Darwen council, which will offer cafes and restaurants a discount on their business rates if their menus include healthy options. The council will also offer free waste removal and subsidised advertising to companies which meet their criteria. In Lewisham, in London, unsold advertising space will be used for health promotion advertisements. And in Bradford, councils will work with local mosques to provide exercise classes, healthier food and lessons in nutrition to South Asian children, who are at greater risk of obesity.