Buyer sought for sports bar chain

Mon, 20 Jul 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

FRP Advisory are seeking a buyer for Rileys Sports Bar, after the chain fell into administration. The company has already closed four of its 21 locations, after the COVID-19 pandemic caused it to speed up the closure of underperforming sites.

In a statement, the company said: “It is with great sadness that yesterday (July 16) we had to make the very difficult decision to permanently close our sites in Grays, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Sheffield.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has a far-reaching effect on the business and the wider hospitality industry. As such we have re-evaluated the business to ensure that we have a strong proposition to take forward into the post-coronavirus world.”

FRP partners Philip Watkins and Geoff Rowley have been appointed as joint administrators and tasked with finding a buyer for the company. Rileys’ 17 remaining sites are expected to resume trading once a buyer has been found. A number of potential buyers are reported to have expressed interest in the chain.

Rileys Sports Bars feature snooker and pool tables, dart and table tennis, as well as live sport and food and drink. Before the recent site closures, the company employed 208 staff, 44 of whom have now been made redundant. Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, the Milton Keynes-based company had recorded eight months of like-for-like growth.

Joint administrator Philip Watkins said: “Rileys is a well-known brand with a popular proposition that has become well-established in towns and cities across the country. As we market the business for sale, we expect there to be interest from prospective buyers who will take the sites forward and welcome back customers as the UK leisure market opens back up.”

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