Joycelyn Neve Pic: The Caterer
ICSM Credit Latest News: Gastropub owner ‘heartbroken’ by insolvency; Intu finally admits the inevitable; and Go Outdoors and Hotter crash; plus more news…
Trade publication The Caterer has reported on one of the devastating effects what some in business feel has been the unnecessary Covid-19 shut down has caused: the ruin of perfectly good businesses. Emma Lake wrote in her article for The Caterer: “Founder of the award-winning Seafood Pub Company Joycelyn Neve has said she is ‘heartbroken’ to have appointed administrators to the 10-site group after failing to secure a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL). Neve, who won the Pub and Bar Award at the 2016 Cateys, founded Seafood Pub Company when she was 25 years old with the 2010 opening of the Oyster & Otter in Blackburn, growing the business across the north west.”
The journalist said the seafood-led concept was born out of her family’s history in the fishing industry, which dates back to the 18th century, with her father Chris most recently co-founding Fleetwood fish firm C&G Neve.
In a statement Neve said: “Seafood Pub Company has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators. Unable to access government support from a CBIL, an internal fundraise followed with the bank and investors. Whilst both were supportive, the investor fundraise failed, as did a subsequent management buyout attempt. Without funding, and no income since the forced closure, the business will go into administration.”
“It goes without saying I am truly heartbroken to have lost the business, but even more so for my team and seafood family. We fought as hard as possible, every step of the way and I am just so sorry that we weren’t able to save the business. I can’t thank the team, guests, suppliers, and everyone who has been part of Seafood Pub Company enough, for their support and friendship the past nine years and especially for the kindness and well wishes at this incredibly difficult time.”
Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “This is a classic case of how good businesses have been destroyed during the pandemic. And in my opinion the crisis has killed many enterprises in the hospitality industry completely needlessly. If the lock down had been less draconian along the lines of Sweden more businesses would have survived.”
Intu bows to the inevitable
The BBC business department have reported on the shopping centre giant Intu’s latest financial troubles. They report: “Intu, which owns some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, has appointed administrators as a “contingency” in case financial rescue talks fail. In March, the owner of the Trafford Centre and Lakeside said it was in talks with lenders about new funding. Intu had been struggling before coronavirus to fill outlets within some centres sites, and had heavy debts. On Tuesday, Intu said “notwithstanding the progress made” it had appointed KPMG to plan for administration.”
Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit issued a warning to potential suppliers to Intu earlier in the Covid-19 crisis who may not get paid if the company entered administration. He said Intu’s problems were compounded by Covid-19 but the seeds of their difficulties were sown last year when they made a £2bn loss – something any firm would have trouble coping with.
Go Outdoors is about to go
The Daily Mail’s business section have reported on the demise of another bricks and mortar retailer hit by the Covid-19 crisis. They reported: “JD Sports has confirmed it is looking at a number of options for its struggling subsidiary Go Outdoors as it filed for court protection to keep the firm’s creditors at bay. The update comes in the wake of reports at the weekend that outdoor equipment retailer Go Outdoors, which has 67 stores and employs 2,300 people, was on the brink of administration. But the firm’s parent, JD Sports, said it is yet to hire administrators to take on the business. Deloitte is understood to have been put in charge of the administration process, which could see Go Outdoors undergo a restructuring to ease its debts and rent obligations.”
The Manchester-based JD Sports outift bought Go Outdoors for £112million in 2016 but like many retailers has struggled with changing shopping habits including a switch on online purchases.
Hotter in hot water
The shoe shop chain Hotter is reported to have launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement in order to save itself from a total collapse. If the creditors agree to their plans then most of the 80 stores would close leaving just 15 to continue supplying the British public with footwear. Company Rescue have reported: “Electra Private Equity, its parent company, said the management had been in discussion with its retail landlords to seek agreement to reduce the number of stores to a more viable level and cost. However, discussions had been unsuccessful in reaching the agreement needed to allow the retailer to continue.”
Bristol truck firm stops trucking
Motor Transport’s Chris Tindall has reported on the collapse of the Bristol haulier Drive Force (UK) with the loss of 47 jobs. He wrote: “The Bristol company appointed Paul Wood and Simon Haskew at Begbies Traynor on 4 June and its doors were closed for the last time.”
The journalist reported on the words of Wood, a partner at Begbies Traynor, who said: “The company had been experiencing significant financial difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and was unable to meet its outstanding costs. Despite using the government’s furlough scheme for a number of months, sadly the business had no viable prospect of a return to future trading.”
Motor Transport said the firm was in incorporated in 1999, and was a specialist in bulk car and HGV distribution and storage across the UK and Europe. It held a standard international licence covering three operating centres; two in Exeter and one at its main Bristol depot where it was authorised to run 25 HGVs.
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For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk