Tchenguiz in £50m Laurel Rescue Move

By Claire Miller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house

Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz placed Laurel Pub Company in administration last night before immediately buying out the majority of its sites to be placed into two new companies.

ROBERT Tchenguiz has put £50 million into his troubled Laurel Pub Company as part of a rescue effort that will see the formation of two new firms.

Tchenguiz stumped up the cash via R20, his investment company, buying back a large chunk of the estate from administrators after placing Laurel into administration last night.

The re-purchase didn’t include 90 outlets, that were underperforming and were described as having ‘onerous’ leases, Tchenguiz’ bankers specified they would be deal breakers if included in the purchase according to the M&C Report.

The deal means Laurel is now valued at between £300 and £400 million, a further cash injection of £50 - £60 million is expected from the Tchenguiz family trust ensuring that staff and suppliers are all protected.

Toby Smith, who is currently a senior executive at Laurel, is to head one of the new companies – Town and City Pub Company, with licenses at wet-lead premises including the Litten Tree, Yates and Hog’s Head being transferred to their management.

The second new company will be the Bay Restaurant Group under the guidance of Laurel’s chief executive Paul Symons, which will manage 217 casual dining sites, including a merger with La Tasca which will catapult the company into the fourth largest casual dining operator in the UK.

Ian Payne will be chairman of both companies despite them being separate entities, he commented: “We are confident that both the restaurant and pubs and bars portfolios acquired today are high quality and robust. With the refinancing of both Bay Restaurant Group and Town & City Pub Company now complete, both businesses have a solid platform from which to expand, grow and maximise their future potential.”

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