MATTHEW CLARK OWNERS HEAD FOR ADMINISTRATION
Matthew Clark owners Conviviality Plc has failed in its efforts to raise the £125m required to save the company from likely administration.
The company revealed earlier this month that it was in financial straits. It admitted to having a £30 million tax bill, a £30 million loan and a large amount due to creditors. It was looking for a cash injection of £125 million to allow the company to keep trading as a “going concern”. That cash has not been forthcoming.
In a statement the company said, “Despite a significant number of meetings with potential investors resulting in good levels of demand, and constructive discussions with a number of key customers and suppliers regarding the provision of support, there was ultimately insufficient demand to raise the full £125 million.”
The statement continued, “The Company is in discussions with its lending banks and advisors regarding other possible options and is in receipt of a number of inbound enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts of the business. A further update will be made as appropriate.”
It is expected that PriceWaterhouse Cooper will be announced as administrators tomorrow, with some 2,600 jobs now on the line.
The company, which had sales of £1.6bn in 2017 also owns Bibendum, Wine Rack and Bargain Booze, bought Matthew Clark in a reverse take-over for £200m in September 2015. Convivality boss Diana Hunter, stood down earlier this month following the news of the debt.
It is expected that adminstrators will attempt to sell off the different companies that make up Conviviality, but it is expected that shareholders will receive “little-to-nil value.”
For Matthew Clark customers in Scotland the news will not be welcome. However customers are standing by the company, and the business in Scotland is trading as normal. Said an employee, “We’ve been heartened by the support that our customers have shown us. We are all doing our very best to ensure our customers orders are fulfilled, and we hope that over the next few days that a buyer will be found.”