The owner of Nicholson’s pubs and Harvester restaurants has reportedly unveiled new plans to raise over £350 million from a number of tycoons, collectively known as ‘Sandy Lane set’. The move supposedly comes after the enterprise came quite close to breaking the terms of agreement on its debts.
According to reports, Mitchells & Butlers stated that it had agreed to conduct the proposed equity raise with the help of three investment holding firms under a comprehensive £500 million rescue deal that also comprised of a three-year long loan facility worth £150 million.
The list of the company’s rescue investors include, Irish billionaires as well as horse racing tycoons; JP McManus and John Magnier, currency trader; Joe Lewis, and Derrick Smith; another businessman who has horse racing interests. Collectively they are known as ‘Sandy Lane set’, a name they got after the luxurious Barbados hotel, a venue where they often gather.
The three investors would be merging together their numerous investment vehicles within one enterprise, named Odyzean, under a structure that would allow them a majority control.
The consolidation of the three investors’ grip comes as M&B continues to struggle as a result of the latest national COVID-19 lockdown across the UK. Back in January, the investor group, who also counts O’Neill’s, All Bar One, and Toby Carveries, under its brand stated that all its sites had been closed and it had only £125 million left in cash. The enterprise owns over 1,600 bars, pubs, and restaurants and provides employment to more than 40,000 people across the UK.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, when most of its businesses were closed, the enterprise was burning through approximately £35 million to £40 million in capital per month. Additionally, it was also due to clear a debt payment of over £50 million on 15th of March.