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Wed 26th Jan 2022 - US fund Knighthead offers £38m to keep Corbin & King trading
US fund Knighthead offers £38m to keep Corbin & King trading: An American investment fund has tabled a £38m offer to keep London-based restaurant operator Corbin & King afloat, hours after it was forced into administration by its biggest shareholder and lender. Sky News reports that Knighthead Capital Management notified administrators to Corbin & King that it is prepared to refinance all outstanding loans owed to Minor International. Knighthead has retained the investment bank PJT Partners to advise it on its interest in the business, which is understood to date from the early part of the pandemic. Minor announced on Tuesday (25 January) it had called in FRP Advisory as administrators to Corbin & King's holding company, which also owns restaurants including The Delaunay and Colbert. Its sites are continuing to trade, and a source close to the situation said Knighthead's offer would allow the business to continue to pay suppliers, employees and landlords. Minor, which has been a shareholder in and lender to Corbin & King since 2017, cited its “inability to align with Corbin & King co-founder Jeremy King on a sustainable commercial strategy” for the decision to place the holding company into insolvency proceedings. Dillip Rajakarier, group chief executive of Minor International, said: “After all our offers to put the company on a strong financial standing have been rejected by Mr King, we have had no choice but to take the responsible step and put Corbin & King into administration. The loans have been in default since May 2020 and we are required to act in the best interest of the company's stakeholders. Contrary to the picture that Mr King is trying to paint, the business is insolvent and is in strong need of further financial support.” He added Minor was “prepared to offer this support to secure the long-term future of Corbin & King's employees and restaurants”. It was unclear, however, why Minor had rejected previous refinancing offers from Knighthead, and whether FRP would seek to engage with the US-based fund. Minor said it had “made repeated proposals to recapitalise the company and continuously pushed the board for cash injection to support the sustainability of the business”. King said: “We have a legal dispute with one of our shareholders and we hope to sort that out soon. The good news is the restaurants are doing well and we are looking forward to a good 2022.”
Corbin & King features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers and now features more than 500 companies. Corbin & King has turned over an average of £34.0m in the past five years. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. The latest edition also features group editor Mark Wingett’s next quarterly pick of the companies well-placed to grow in the post-pandemic era. His latest pick of companies are Brakspear, Simmons Bars, Hub Box, Park Holidays, Vaulkhard Leisure, Hostmore, QFM Group, Caprice Holdings and Ivy Collection. The picks are accompanied by a 2,100-word report. The Blue Book also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to sign up

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