Pubs plan as Conviviality goes into administration

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Financial difficulties: pubcos are looking at their options following Conviviality developments
Financial difficulties: pubcos are looking at their options following Conviviality developments
Pubs are preparing to put contingency plans in place following news that wine supplier Conviviality has filed for administration.

Some 25,000 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels are supplied with wine, spirits and other beverages either by Conviviality direct or through brands such as Matthew Clark and Bibendum.

The troubled wine supplier filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators​ last week as its financial difficulties remained unsolved, leaving many pubs and pubcos in the lurch.

The Morning Advertiser ​understands the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is working members who trade with Conviviality to limit the impact of the situation, should it worsen.

Alternative suppliers

“We are working with members to assess the impact of the ongoing issues with Conviviality who, through Matthew Clark, are suppliers to the pub trade. Alternative suppliers will be sought to minimise the impact on the trade as far as possible, but inevitably a situation like this will be causing concern for some pubs,” a BBPA spokesman said.

Analysts have also warned that suppliers to Conviviality may have stopped trading with the company, for fear of not being paid. This could mean pubs purchasing through Conviviality may be left short on options.

High street pub chain JD Wetherspoon has traded with Conviviality for two decades​ and has a contingency plan in place. However, it is understood the pubco’s supply is currently uninterrupted.

Drinks giants including Heineken, C&C, Molson Coors and even AB InBev have been singled out in the news as potential buyers of Conviviality.

Selling all or parts

The beleaguered retailer last week said it would have to consider selling all or parts of the company following a £30m tax bill and a further £30m in debt to creditors.

In a statement it said: “Unless circumstances change, and in accordance with statutory requirements, the board intends to appoint administrators within 10 business days.

“The secured creditors can, however, appoint administrators without the requirement for notice.

“The directors intend to allow the business to continue to trade and the company continues to work alongside advisers in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders as it explores a number of inbound enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts of the business.”

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