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Mon 24th May 2021 - Exclusive: Greene King secures approval for Loch Fyne CVA
Exclusive – Greene King secures approval for Loch Fyne CVA: Brewer and retailer Greene King has received approval for the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) of its Loch Fyne restaurant business, Propel has learned. Propel revealed earlier this year that Greene King had started discussions with landlords of its Loch Fyne restaurant business, ahead of making a decision whether to formally proceed with a CVA. The company has been working with restructuring firm Resolve on the process, which will see it exit leases on 11 sites, which have already been closed. The process leaves the brand with ten trading sites in locations including Ascot, Cambridge, Portsmouth and York. A Greene King spokesman told Propel: “Loch Fyne has been severely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic and the resulting social restrictions. Following advice from an insolvency practitioner, a CVA was proposed to creditors, which has now been approved and will enable us to hand back to landlords a number of sites that are already closed and no longer needed within the Greene King estate. There are no job losses as a result of this and we are looking forward to reopening a smaller number of profitable and well-run Loch Fyne restaurants, which will continue trade once restrictions ease.” Last October, Greene King permanently closed 11 of its 21 Loch Fyne restaurants. The company acquired the then 36-strong Loch Fyne business for £68m in 2007. More than two years ago, it explored its options for the business, including a possible sale, and has disposed of a number of individual Loch Fyne restaurants during the past 18 to 24 months.

Wendy’s appoints Paul Hilder to oversee return to the UK: Wendy’s, the third-largest quick service restaurant chain in the US, has appointed Paul Hilder, who has been with the company for 25 years, to oversee its return to the UK, Propel understands. Hilder, who has been overseeing the brand’s growth in Canada, also now becomes managing director of its UK operation, which will see the company make its return here with an opening in Reading, at the start of next month (2 June). Earlier this month, Wendy’s chief development officer Abigail Pringle said there was an opportunity to open between 300 and 400 sites in the UK. The group has confirmed it will open sites in Oxford and Stratford, east London, in the second half of this year. Last month, Propel revealed Wendy’s had lined up its first out-of-town site for its UK return, in Essex. The company, which plans to open five sites in the UK this year, with a target of eventually operating about 20 company-owned branches in Britain, is understood to be in advanced talks on taking a site at Thurrock Shopping Park. It is thought it could even be the location of its first UK drive-thru. The company plans to enter the UK with company-owned and operated restaurants in 2021 and, in its second phase, will launch in priority areas with multi-unit franchisee operators. It is believed to have a strong pipeline of locations in place in the UK, including some drive-thrus. It recently applied for planning to open a site in Croydon, and Propel understands Wendy’s is also in talks on sites in Camden and Brighton. In March, the company said it plans to open ten sites in the UK in 2022, and that it had secured multiple locations and was engaged with several potential franchisees.

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