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Mon 27th May 2019 - Coffeesmiths Collective buys ten Filmore & Union sites in pre-pack administration
Coffeesmiths Collective buys ten Filmore & Union sites in pre-pack administration: Coffeesmiths Collective, led by Toby Smith, has bought ten Filmore & Union coffee shop sites in a pre-pack administration. Eight sites, including cafes in York city centre, Harrogate, Skipton, Jesmond, Moortown and its head office in Wetherby, have been closed. Phil Pierce and Paul Whitwam, partners at FRP Advisory, were appointed joint administrators on Friday (24 May) after the business suffered cash flow pressures following a period of tough trading. The joint administrators secured a partial sale of the business and assets to Coffeesmiths Collective, the owner of a number of speciality coffee companies, which has acquired ten of the Filmore & Union trading sites and its production kitchen in Wetherby. The company employed about 230 people, with 150 of those jobs being saved as a result of the pre-pack deal. Pierce said: “Filmore & Union is a well-known and popular independent chain with a strong reputation across the north of England. We are pleased to have been able to secure a deal that crucially protects a large number of jobs in the local area and will help to maximise returns for creditors. We wish the team at Coffeesmiths Collective all the best as it continues to expand its business. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to secure the sale of all sites, and we are working with the Redundancy Payments Service to provide support for all employees affected at this difficult time.” The firm also ran concessions with John Lewis in York, Nottingham and Newcastle, all of which have been purchased by Coffeesmiths. 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. Earlier this month, Coffeesmiths Collective appointed Darcy Willson-Rymer, former managing director of Starbucks UK and Ireland and current chief executive of convenience store chain Costcutter, as non-executive chairman.

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