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Fri 6th Nov 2020 - Turtle Bay appoints new CEO, Caffe Nero lenders and landlords brace for CVA launch
Turtle Bay appoints Nick Crossley as chief executive: Turtle Bay, the Caribbean restaurant brand backed by Piper, has appointed Nick Crossley, formerly of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), as its new chief executive, Propel has learned. Crossley joins the 42-strong Turtle Bay from M&B where he spent five years as divisional director of its 500-strong Pubs Division, which consisted of multiple brands. He had been with the company for 16 years, having joined in 2004 as brand operations director. Previous roles have included operations director at Scottish & Newcastle and head of retail operations at Nestlé. He will start at Turtle Bay in the new year. Founded by Ajith Jayawickrema in 2011, Turtle Bay has been backed by Piper since 2013 and chaired by Jane O’Riordan since last year. On Crossley’s appointment, Jayawickrema becomes deputy chairman and will remain closely involved in building the brand, which is understood continues to “trade strongly” despite the very difficult conditions imposed by covid-19. Jayawickrema said: “We’re delighted to welcome Nick to Turtle Bay. We have known Nick for some time and feel his experience and knowledge of the industry will be tremendously valuable in the years ahead. We’re confident that under his leadership Turtle Bay will continue to bring the very best of Caribbean socialising to all our guests.” Crossley said: “In a highly competitive market, Turtle Bay has always stood out as a brand with a unique offering, a strong identity and a deep understanding of its customers. It’s a huge privilege to be joining Aj and his impressive team and I greatly look forward to helping the business continue to thrive.” The company recently launched its new Turtle Bay At Home offer from seven sites in England. Those accepting takeaway (via UberEats) and delivery (via Deliveroo) orders on Wednesday to Sunday are Bristol Broad Quay, Chelmsford, Crawley, Ealing, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Southampton.

Caffe Nero lenders and landlords brace for CVA launch: Lenders to Caffe Nero have drafted in financial advisers as they prepare for the launch of a restructuring that could lead to permanent store closures and job losses. Alcentra and Partners Group, which provide mezzanine debt to Caffe Nero, have brought in FTI Consulting to advise them on the implications of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), reports Sky News. Sources said Caffe Nero is holding talks with the British Property Federation, which represents commercial landlords, to discuss the CVA plans. One insider said while a final decision on a CVA had yet to be taken, it was likely to be announced later this month. A CVA would enable Caffe Nero to reduce its rent liabilities and exit loss-making stores. Caffe Nero, which is working with KPMG on its options, is likely to seek steep rent cuts from landlords as part of any restructuring deal. The coffee shop business operates 660 stores across the UK, more than 90% of which had reopened since the original UK-wide lockdown ended in June. The group, which is owned by Gerry Ford, is said to have been performing strongly prior to the covid-19 crisis. It employs about 5,000 people and said it serves 135 million customers annually. In September, Caffe Nero said: “It has been a difficult period since lockdown measures were introduced by the government and we’re working incredibly hard to navigate our way forward. As part of this, we are working closely with advisers to help review our options and assist with our ongoing negotiations with landlords.”

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