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Tue 1st Jun 2021 - Exclusive – Market Halls launches CVA proposals
Exclusive – Market Halls launches CVA proposals: Market Halls, the London-based food market hall operator, is to launch company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposals for four group entities, Propel has learned. Try Market Halls, (TMH), Try Market Halls Fulham Broadway (TMH Fulham), Try Market Halls Victoria (TMH Victoria), and Try Market Halls Oxford Street (TMH Oxford Street) are each launching a CVA. Founded in 2017, the companies operate three sites in central London – TMH Fulham, TMH Oxford Street and TMH Victoria. TMH is a non-trading holding company, which employs the management team and head office staff. The business said in common with the majority of UK hospitality companies, it has been impacted enormously by the onset of lockdown measures resulting from the global covid-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns. Each of the companies’ sites has remained closed since the first national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. The board decided not to reopen any of the three sites each time restrictions were loosened as they agreed with social distancing and other pandemic restrictions in place, their central London locations could expect very low footfall and reopening would be likely to result in an increased cash shortfall. With the sites now not anticipated to reopen until later this summer, at the very earliest, and with trade creditor balances continuing to mount-up, each company is now taking decisive action to safeguard its future by undertaking a financial restructuring programme which is funded by a new investor in the business, Gees Court Partners. Andy Lewis-Pratt, founder and chief executive of Market Halls, said: “The past 14 months have been the most challenging of my career. Prior to the pandemic, we were fast-growing and had exciting plans for our business. But with prolonged restrictions forcing us to close our doors indefinitely, the future of Market Halls is now at real risk. We’ve been working incredibly hard to find a way through, and after much consideration, it’s our firm belief that these CVA proposals represent the best means possible of giving us the flexibility we need to secure our future.” Will Wright and Chris Pole, of Interpath Advisory, are the proposed nominees of the CVA. Wright said: “With little prospect of the business being able to reopen until the mid to late summer at the very earliest, the CVA proposals provide the companies with the additional flexibility they require to navigate the challenging months ahead, as well as securing new investment for the future.” TMH Fulham, TMH Oxford Street and TMH Victoria have reached consensual agreements with their landlords such that no further compromise of the leases is required. The landlords are therefore classed as critical creditors for the purposes of the CVAs, and as such are excluded from the proposals. Detailed proposal documents will be made available to creditors via a dedicated website today (Tuesday, 1 June). The creditors will have until 16 June 2021 to vote on the proposals.

Propel Premium subscribers receive monthly update to multi-site database with 108 companies added: Propel Premium subscribers have now received the monthly update to the multi-site database, which has had 108 companies added since the last release at the end of April. They not only received the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they were also sent a 14,000-word report on the businesses added during May. The go-to database, which now features 1,822 companies that collectively operate 59,197 sites, provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers are also to receive access to a second exclusive monthly database, The Propel Blue Book. This database will provide an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. It will be available on Friday, 11 June at midday. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email to sign up.

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