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Revolution Bars set for radical restructuring

Oliver Gill
·2-min read
A Revolution Bar in Glasgow
A Revolution Bar in Glasgow

Revolution Bars has confirmed it is preparing to launch a radical restructuring as fears mount over the fallout of fresh restrictions on the hospitality sector.

The Telegraph revealed on Friday morning that the operator has hired financial adviser Alix Partners to explore a number of options, including a company voluntary arrangement – a form of insolvency that allows companies to restructure their debts.

The listed company later confirmed the report by saying it had "been working with advisers to assess various strategic options".

Discussions had been opened following the "continuing challenging trading environment and exacerbated by the further Covid-19 related restrictions".

"No decisions have yet been made and there is much further work to complete before the board decides on any appropriate course of action," the company said in a statement. 

Revolution Bars ranks among the hardest hit within the hospitality sector by new restrictions forcing pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm with many of its locations usually operating later into the night.

The changes came into force on Thursday evening.

Revolution Bars boss Rob Pitcher was fiercely critical of the Government's announcement earlier this week.

"It's beyond belief that they have brought in the 10pm curfew with no evidence to back it up," he said.

Revolution managed to reopen two thirds of its bars over the summer with sales buoyed by Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

What is a company voluntary arrangement (CVA)?
What is a company voluntary arrangement (CVA)?

Talks with landlords have been fraught, however. Earlier this month the company said it was "disappointed that almost half of its landlords have refused to enter into meaningful discussions" over quarterly rent payments due at the end of September.

On Thursday the Chancellor announced an extension to the moratorium that prevents creditors such as landlords from winding up businesses over unpaid debts.

The company said: "Revolution has a strong balance sheet following the £15m equity fundraising and the extension of its banking facilities announced in June but the board believes that the long term nature and potential impact of the latest operating restrictions means that it must consider all necessary options to ensure that its business remains viable."