Thai Leisure Group creditors approve CVA: Thai Leisure Group, operator of Thaikhun and Chaophraya, has had its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) approved by creditors at a meeting today (Friday, 4 October). The company proposed the CVA to address a number of underperforming sites that had been hit by the well-publicised issues undermining the restaurant sector. The company has been working with RSM on the proposal, which involves closing a handful of sites on the back of the CVA and agreeing new rental levels on the majority of its 22-strong estate. Managing director Ian Leigh said: “Securing 95% support for our proposal and 100% support from landlords highlights the confidence our key stakeholders have in our proposition and brands. I would like to thank all our stakeholders and employees for their support during this process. This ensures we can now focus on investing in our sites and brands thereby ensuring the long-term success of the business.” Damian Webb, retail restructuring partner at RSM, added: “This is a great result for the company and the 95% support of creditors illustrates the strength of the company’s proposition. This restructuring ensures the company is well set in what is a challenging period for the British hospitality sector.” Earlier this week Propel revealed the details of a rebranding exercise and refresh programme Thai Leisure Group planned to enact provided the CVA was approved. During FY20, management plans incremental capital investment of £450,000 to refresh and extend the trading footprint at a number of Chaophraya sites and a further £550,000 to rebrand the two Chao Baby restaurants and a Thaikhun as Thaikhun Street buffets. During FY21 a further £400,000 of capital expenditure is planned for shopping centre Thaikhun sites and Chaophraya refreshes, resulting in a total incremental investment of £1.4m during the CVA. There are four categories of leases in the CVA, with eight restaurants to be retained in full plus the group’s head office. Category 2 landlords would receive 72p in the pound paid as rent during the period of the CVA, which includes sites in Oxford, Glasgow (Silverburn), Aberdeen (Union Square), Aberdeen (Union Street), Cambridge, Southampton and Gateshead (Metro Centre). Those leases in Category 3 – Newcastle Eldon Square, Liverpool Yee Rah and Guildford – would see landlords receive 52p in the pound paid as rent during the CVA. Category 4 leases would see landlords receive 10% of site turnover paid as rent during the CVA. The sites in this category, and those thought to be under greatest threat of closure, are Liverpool Chaophraya, TK Bar in Liverpool, and an unopened site in Glasgow Fort.
Trust Inns appoints new managing director as D’Arcy departs: North west-based pub company Trust Inns has announced Lynne D’Arcy will step down as managing director at the beginning of November following nine years with the business. She will be replaced by Mark Brown, former head of legal at Admiral Taverns. D’Arcy said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the company and believe I leave Trust Inns in great shape with a first-class head office and operations team. I’m confident the company will enjoy continued success with Mark at the helm.” The directors of Trust Inns said: “We would like to thank Lynne for her hard work and dedication to the business. She leaves with our thanks and best wishes. We look forward to welcoming Mark. He is taking over an excellent estate of pubs with the opportunity to invest in the estate and new acquisitions.” Trust Inns has an estate of 350 leased and tenanted pubs nationwide. Following a recent extensive disposal and refinancing programme, the privately owned company said it was in a “strong and stable position to acquire new properties”. The company has added four freehold properties to its portfolio in 2019 so far.