Drinks supplier Conviviality to call in administrators

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks supplier Conviviality to call in administrators
Conviviality, owner of Bibendum wines and Matthew Clark, has announced it is to call in the administrators within two weeks.

The company is the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler and supplies over 23,000 on-trade outlets, including independent restaurants, pub groups such as JD Wetherspoon, and national hotel chains.

In the last fortnight Conviviality issued profit warnings and discovered a £30m tax bill due on 29 March.

On March 21 it sought to raise £125m from investors to settle the bill and pay creditors, but failed to do so.

Conviviality, which employs around 2,600 staff, said today (29 March) there was a possibility parts of the company could be sold off.

In its latest update on the London Stock Exchange, the company said: “Unless circumstances change, and in accordance with statutory requirements, the Board intend to appoint administrators within 10 business days. The secured creditors can, however, appoint administrators without the requirement for notice.

“The Directors intend to allow the business to continue to trade and the Company continues to work alongside advisers in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders as it explores a number of inbound enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts of the business.”

In a trading update posted in February the company said it had secured ‘long-term contracts’ with JD Wetherspoon, Stonegate Pub Company and Wadworth, supplying nearly 2,000 sites.

Conviviality’s chief executive Diana Hunter, who took up the post in 2013, stepped down last week.

Under her tenure the company purchased Matthew Clark for £200m in 2015 and Bibendum for £60m in May 2016. 

Conviviality also owns more than 700 off-licence stores under the Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Select Convenience and Wine Rack brands.

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