Luminar moves to boost clubs’ trade

By The PMA Team

- Last updated on GMT

Luminar: managers will adopt their own pricing policy
Luminar: managers will adopt their own pricing policy

Related tags: Nightclub company luminar, Lloyds banking group, Hbos

Troubled nightclub company Luminar is understood to have placed 15 nightclubs in a stand-alone “entrepreneurial” division headed by Tony Gorbert.

The company has abandoned attempts to drive centralised marketing initiatives through the 15 nightclubs, which are thought to be loss-making. The general managers of these sites have been told to adopt their own stocking, pricing and marketing policy.

One source told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “The general managers can hold any events they like, and they report directly to the board of directors. Basically, they have been told to make as much money as
they can.”

A second source said: “I think the philosophy is ‘We’ve got nothing to lose — let’s see how the managers get on’. It feels like a last desperate roll of the dice for these sites in a company that’s been wobbling.

“In some ways it’s quite sensible, but it should have been done about six months ago. Managers are now free to duck and dive, bob and weave to improve trading.”

Luminar is reported to be in talks with its lenders about a debt-for-equity swap.

The move would see Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays take control of the company, which has debts of £82m.

A capital injection from a third-party investor is also being considered, along with a sale of the whole company.

At the end of last week Luminar’s banking group agreed to a three-month extension to the covenant waiver it arranged with the company in May, as the company revealed that trading for the 25 weeks to 20 August had remained challenging, with sales down 11.7%.

Related topics: MA Leaders Club

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