Rileys back in administration for the third time in five years

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 | ADMINISTRATION

Sports bar operator Rileys has found itself in administration for the third time in five years, following a dip in custom over the summer months.

The move renders about 500 employees at risk of losing their jobs. Administrators from Deloitte were drafted in yesterday (Monday 15 September) to assess the options for the UK’s largest snooker and pool bar operator, which had over 160 outlets at the top of its game.

In 2009 198 jobs were lost and later in November 2012 a pre-pack administration deal led to a further 146 job cuts and 25 club closures.

Fifteen of the 59 bars have already been closed this time round, with 104 job losses, and another 20 made redundant at its head quarters in Milton Keynes.

Rob Harding, joint administrator, confirmed that the sports bars are still trading. He said: “We are now working to stabilise the business following our appointment whilst we consider our options for securing the best outcome for the company’s creditors.

“The remaining sites continue to trade as normal and we appreciate the co-operation and support of the Company’s employees, landlords, customers and other key stakeholders.”

Its current owner Greybull Capital bought Rileys Sports Bars Limited in the 2012 pre-pack administration, and placed the business on the market two months ago to seek new investment.

The chain, which includes the popular Sports Café site in Haymarket, central London, dates back to 1878 when it was founded by sports enthusiast and Irish entrepreneur Edward John Riley. The bars offer snooker, pool, as well as darts and bingo, and broadcasts live sporting events.

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