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Sun 27th Oct 2013 - Eclectic set for first bar company float since 2007
Eclectic eyes flotation; first bar company float since 2007: Late-night operator Eclectic, led by Reuben Harley, is looking at an Alternative Investment Market (AIM) float, the first bar business to float since 2007. The company wants to raise £10m to pay off debt and plans to buy two or three sites a year to add to its 19-strong portfolio. The company is 60% owned by Avanti Capital, which would sell down its holding in the float. Eclectic reported sales up 7% to £21.197m in the 12- month period ended June 2013. Ebitda before head office costs was up 15% at £5.81 million (2012: £5.06 million) and company Ebitda was up 2% at £2.92 million (2012: £2.85 million). Richard Kleiner, director of Avanti, said “Over the last five years, Avanti have been delighted to be closely involved with the development of (Eclectic) and working with the management team to see it make the transition to a public company. Avanti believes that (Eclectic) has substantial growth opportunities and this transition to the public markets should provide the capital to accelerate its growth whilst deepening and broadening its infrastructure to ensure that such growth will continue to be built on firm foundations. We also hope the IPO crystallises a return for our loyal shareholders.” The company trades across its estate under a variety of brands, including Embargo 59, Lola Lo, Sakura, Po Na Na and Fez Club. These brands have proven themselves to be consistently cash-generative, continuing to trade well even since the start of the global financial crisis of 2008. The group has established a stable financial track record over the past five years with the turnover in the year ended 30 June 2013 of £21.2 million, representing a two-year CAGR of 16.9%, and Group EBITDA of £3.0 million, representing a two-year CAGR of 16.7%. Eclectic chief executive Reuben Harley said: “I see a great opportunity to grow this business both organically and via selective new site acquisitions. The bar market remains highly fragmented and with our total focus on attracting a premium customer to the highest quality bar in the locations in which we operate we are well positioned to take advantage of the market. The potential of our brands allows for growth both from utilising different brands in areas in which we currently operate as well as new sites in our target towns and cities. The IPO will help accelerate this growth strategy.” The group’s most recent acquisitions, Madame Geisha, Coalition and Coyote Wild, currently continue to trade under their existing brand names. The Madame Geisha site in Brighton was acquired in March 2013 and is also Japanese themed. It is planned for refurbishment in 2014. In October 2013, Eclectic acquired the Coalition bar in Brighton. Coalition is located in the Kings Road Arches on the seafront and has a large outdoor terrace. Coalition will continue to trade under its existing name for at least the next 12 months, over which time the opportunities for further development will be reviewed. Also in October 2013, Eclectic acquired the freehold of the Coyote Wild bar in Derby. The company intends to convert this site to the Lola Lo brand in early 2014. Eclectic sites trade at a gross margin of 80% and capacity per site averages 400. 

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