Blaming difficulties in securing investment coupled with ‘current market conditions’, struggling restaurant chain FishWorks has called in administrators.
The current management team, Paul Goodale and Stephen Easthope, had spent the majority of last year seeking investment for their 10 restaurants that employ over 220 staff. But when market conditions restricted their success and resulted in a drop-off in trade, FishWorks were forced to call in administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
In November, the company announced it had been trading at a £5.5m loss for that year ending 31 July 2008, but was certain acquiring further sites was the way forward. Earlier this month the company suspended the trading of its shares on the stock market, which cast serious doubts over FishWorks’ future.
A spokesperson for FishWorks said that while they have received some interest in the company, Goodale and Easthope will be placing a bid for some of the restaurants themselves.
“The owners have put a bid into PwC to aquire some of the restaurants, although it’s up to them to decide which is going to be best for the company," he said. "The owners have got some good funding behind them and key industry figures backing them in their bid to keep the company as a going concern to ensure the restaurants continue to run and people are employed.”
One bidder rumoured to have expressed his interest in the company is Luke Johnson, a former chairman of Pizza Express, who joined the company in 2007 as part of a rescue deal and currently owns 11 per cent of the shares.