Revolution Bars set to close more venues across the country

Revolution Bars, a popular high street bar chain, is reportedly considering closing down around a quarter of its venues, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

The group, owning Peach Pubs and Revolucion de Cuba chain, might close up to 20 of their least successful sites due to ongoing external challenges. Reports from Sky News suggest that the company is seeking investors and hopes to raise around £10million.

Cavendish investment bank is said to be involved in the fundraising efforts. An insider revealed that not taking these steps would mean insolvency for the business, which seems to be the “only likely alternative”.

The major share of site closures will probably belong to the Revolution-branded chain. It’s unclear exactly how many job losses the potential closures could create, but estimates suggest it could be “in the hundreds”.

The group currently employs around 2,500 people, reports the Mirror. In a statement released Tuesday morning, Revolution did not confirm any plans to shut down locations or cut jobs, though they did mention restructuring aspects of the group. Furthermore, selling part or the whole business might also be on the table.

This process could kick off within the “coming few days” with potential buyers including Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate, Be At One chains, or financial turnaround investors.

The company shared: “Following a period of external challenges which have impacted the company’s business and trading performance, the board is actively exploring all the strategic options available to it to improve the future prospects of the group.

“These include a restructuring plan for certain parts of the group, a sale of all or part of the group and any other avenue to maximise returns for stakeholders.”

They also mentioned they are talking with “key shareholders and other investors” to get more money. One important person in this is Luke Johnson, who used to be the boss of Pizza Express and owns Patisserie Valerie.

He’s also in charge of and partly owns Gail’s bakery. In January, Revolution Bars Group said they were going to close eight of their places in England because they weren’t making enough money.

The Revolution bars that will shut are in Beaconsfield, Derby, Reading, St Peters Liverpool, and Wilmslow. Two Revolucion de Cuba bars in Sheffield and Southampton and the Playhouse in Newcastle-Under-Lyme will also close.

Revolution will continue to run 22 pubs and 58 bars after the closure. The Revolution Bars Group announced plans to “significantly reduce expenditure” and postpone all refurbishments, despite experiencing its “best festive period since 2019”.

In a recent trading update, CEO Rob Pitcher cautioned that the night-time economy is under threat due to the cost of living crisis and young people’s lack of disposable income.

He also highlighted that the increase in the National Living Wage and business rates have added to these pressures.

Earlier this year, the company’s boss told The Times that he couldn’t promise no more Revolution bars would close, stating that the focus was on gradually moving Revolution up the age scale.

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