NOVUS Leisure, the late-night specialist, is to acquire the lion’s share of Soho Clubs & Bars, in a deal valued at between £8m to £10m.
The London-based group, which is backed by Cognetas and led by Steve Richards, is to buy seven London venues from administrators Kroll.
It is thought that the business will be formally placed in administration later today before Novus acquires seven out of the 11 venues Soho Clubs & Bars operates.
Soho is believed to have outstanding debts and liabilities of about £15m.
The sites Novus will acquire are: Jewel, Piccadilly; Jewel, Covent Garden; Cheers, Regent Street; plus four bars in Soho – Bar Soho, LVPO, Shadow Lounge and Village.
The three remaining Soho bars that will be left with Kroll are Candy Bar, Revue Bar and Sirocco. Novus is also thought to be one of a number of groups interested in acquiring Food & Drink Group.
Novus chief executive Steve Richards said: “We are delighted to have acquired these premium venues and believe they will help consolidate our dominant position in London’s Covent Garden and West End.
“The seven venues are performing strongly and mirror our own double-digit growth in London. It is no secret that we are expanding Novus through acquisition, and today’s additions will enable our existing customers in London to enjoy an even greater range of high quality venues.
“We believe that we can further enhance the performance of these venues through latenightlondon, our web-based marketing system, which accounts for roughly 50% of our revenue.
“Last year, the website received over 14m hits, and it currently has a database of one million regular users.”