Orchid casts off Premium Bars group
30 July, 2012
The Orchid Group has moved to end its interest in the Premium Bars and Restaurants side of its business. Eclectic is set to take over management of the venues.
The 33-strong division, which comprises The Living Room (pictured) and old Ultimate Leisure properties, is to change hands after Orchid completed a refinancing round. Orchid had picked up the management contract for the Premium group in late 2009 after it fell into administration, and has since run them on behalf of the banks that own the estate—but has now decided to concentrate its efforts on its core estate of pubs and bars that it actually owns.
In his latest blog, Orchid CEO Rufus Hall confirmed: “We’ve taken the decision to concentrate all of our efforts solely on our core Orchid pub business and the PBR business which has been with us for the last three years will move on to pastures new.” He added his thanks to those who had been involved in the PBR division since 2009. “Great people, great businesses and some great hangovers!”
Orchid has not confirmed who is to take on the management of the business, but the Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Eclectic, owner of the PoNaNa brand among an estate of about 16 bars, had picked up the management contract. Eclectic is backed by small private equity outfit Avanti Capital, and would seem to have the resources to turn the deal into a formal purchase. The Sunday Times says the contract could be a “prelude to a takeover later this year.”
As Peach Report reported earlier this year, Orchid embarked on a refinancing operation that saw former equity owner GI Capital and lender Lloyds exiting the business, leaving Deutsche Bank as its sole owner. Hall said in his blog that the refinancing had been successful and had “really strengthened the Orchid business.”