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Wed 16th Mar 2022 - Young’s appoints Simon Dodd as new CEO as Patrick Dardis steps down, Corbin & King legal battle intensifies
Young’s appoints Simon Dodd as new CEO as Patrick Dardis steps down: London pub retailer Young’s has announced Patrick Dardis will be stepping down as chief executive at this year’s annual general meeting on 5 July 2022. On that date, he will be succeeded by Simon Dodd, chief operating officer, who was recruited three years ago with succession planning in mind. Young’s stated: “Patrick will remain on the board and will stay on to oversee the transition to Simon, until he retires at the end of September. He will remain available to the company for the remainder of his notice period through to the end of March 2023. Simon has a wealth of experience, having spent more than a decade working in the pub and brewing sector. Prior to joining Young’s he was on the board of Fuller’s. and before that with Orchid Pub Company, and has held a number of brand and marketing roles in the hospitality sector. Simon has impressed the board by immersing himself fully in all aspects of the business. Patrick has had a long and successful 20-year career at Young’s, of which 19 have been on the board and the last six years as chief executive. He has achieved a huge amount during this time, not least navigating the company through covid, one of the most challenging periods in its long history. With trading returning to normal, we have a strong balance sheet and capacity to invest further in the business now focused on premium managed pubs.” Chairman Steve Goodyear said: “I have really enjoyed working with Patrick over the last 20 years. He has worked very effectively and with great energy and passion for the business. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank him for his huge contribution and his many successful achievements during his time at Young’s.” Dardis added: “Now is the right time to hand over the reins to Simon and the rest of the team at Young’s. I leave behind a great business, in good shape with a very talented team. It has been a privilege to lead a business with so many fantastic people in it and I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their support and contribution over the last 20 years.”

Minor International to launch new legal cases in battle for control of Corbin & King: Minor International, the owner of Corbin & King, is preparing further legal cases in the battle for control of the London-based restaurant operator. Sky News reports that the Thai-based company is preparing two further legal cases involving Jeremy King, the co-founder of Corbin & King, as a battle for control of the upmarket London dining group escalates. Minor has hired Linklaters, the magic circle law firm, to sue Knighthead Capital Management for allegedly inducing King to breach his shareholder agreement. Minor is also understood to be working with Mishcon de Reya, another law firm, on a separate claim against King personally. The latest legal salvoes from Minor come weeks after it failed to prevent Knighthead repaying about £38m in debt owed to it by C&K subsidiaries. Minor forced C&K’s holding company into administration in January, accusing King of mismanaging the business and of refusing to place the business on a more sustainable financial footing. The accusations were rejected by King, who has held long-standing talks with Knighthead about taking control of the company. Propel previously revealed that FRP Advisory, which was appointed to handle the administration, had set a deadline of last Friday (11 March) for offers. Both Knighthead and Minor are understood to have tabled proposals, while sector investor Richard Caring has again been linked with an interest in the business. Propel understands bids that give Corbin & King an enterprise value of circa £50m have been submitted, and revealed last week that Naveen Handa, of leisure company The Cairn Group, was one of the interested parties bidding to acquire Corbin & King. However, it is thought that Handa, who is part of the family that owns The Cairn Group, which has grown to a portfolio of 32 hotels and more than 30 bars and restaurants across the UK, is no longer in the running. Minor and King both declined to comment.

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