Revolution Bars confirms closure of six bars as creditors back restructuring

Revolution bar in Glasgow
Revolution bar in Glasgow
15:45pm, Fri 13 Nov 2020
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Creditors at bar chain Revolution have given it the green light for a major restructuring plan which will see it axe 130 jobs and shut six bars permanently.

It said 88% of creditors, including landlords, backed its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) plan, which will also reduce rent at seven of its other bars.

The company said its subsidiary, Revolution Bars Limited, launched the CVA in a bid to reduce costs after being hit heavily by the pandemic.

The six Revolution bars set to close are the America Square and Clapham High Street branches in London, alongside sites in Birmingham, Sunderland, Bath and Solihull.

Its sites at Clapham Junction, Putney, Richmond, Bristol, Reading, Cheltenham and Stafford will move onto turnover-based rental agreements.

The group, which runs bars under the Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba brands, has closed all of its English sites until at least December 3 as part of the second national lockdown.

However, it reopened two bars in Wales this week and reopened three of its seven Scottish bars last week following the lifting of restrictions.

Rob Pitcher, chief executive of the company, said: “This is a positive step in the right direction for the business.

“However, whilst we welcome the support Government has given, the hospitality sector has been severely affected by their often illogical, inappropriate and disproportionate response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“To plan ahead, we still require guidance on how the sector can ultimately exit the current restrictions in a safe and timely manner.

“With phase one of the vaccine rollout potentially commencing in December and set to protect 99% of the UK’s at-risk population, we have some potential indication of a timeline to normality which will save jobs and allow us to resume delighting our customers again .”

Revolution said the restructuring will have a one-off cost of £1.1 million but is expected to save the business around £4 million over the next two years.

It said it is currently burning through £400,000 each week, but said it is encouraged that its revenues “may return to more normal levels through the course of 2021” due to vaccine progress.

The company also said its current finance chief, Mike Foster, will not seek re-election at its annual general meeting next month.

He will be replaced by former Footasylum finance boss Danielle Davies, who joined Revolution in 2020.

Shares in the company moved 9.4% higher to 17.5p after the update.

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