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Fri 11th Feb 2022 - US fund Knighthead lodges fresh bid to acquire Corbin & King
US fund Knighthead lodges fresh bid to acquire Corbin & King: A US-based fund is trying to break an impasse over the future of some of London’s top restaurants by tabling a fresh offer to extract it from insolvency proceedings. Sky News reports that Knighthead Capital Management, which has seen a number of proposals rebuffed by administrators to Corbin & King and its biggest shareholder, is offering to refinance the group's individual restaurants, which include The Wolseley and The Delaunay. City sources said Knighthead and its advisers had changed tack after bids to refinance Corbin & King's £38m of parent company debt had foundered. One insider pointed out the US fund's latest proposal, which was lodged this week, would solvently refinance the entire group and enable its exit from administration. It was unclear, they added, on what basis the proposal would not be attractive to the administrators and the majority-owner. Corbin & King was forced into insolvency last month by Minor International, the company's majority shareholder and biggest secured lender, amid a dispute with the co-founder, Jeremy King, about its strategy. The group's sites continue to trade, with Knighthead understood to be committed to paying suppliers, employees and landlords. The London-based group was founded by King and Chris Corbin, two of the capital's most celebrated restaurateurs whose sites are known for their mixture of influential customers from the worlds of business, the arts and politics. They saw trade badly hit by covid-19 lockdowns, with that pressure exacerbating a row with Minor, which has been a shareholder in and lender to Corbin & King since 2017. Richard Caring, the owner of The Ivy and J Sheekey – two other fixtures of London's upmarket dining scene – was reported last weekend to have dropped his interest in acquiring Corbin & King. The administrators are understood to have told interested parties that they have had dozens of expressions of interest. Minor has separately gone to court to have the advisory firm Teneo Restructuring removed as an independent monitor, a status that temporarily protects Corbin & King's operating subsidiaries from being placed into bankruptcy. The monitor role is designed to facilitate a company's solvent rescue similar to that being proposed by Knighthead.
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 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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