The operator of four pubs appointed joint administrators Sarah O’Toole and Jason Bell of the Manchester office of Grant Thornton UK LLP after administration took effect on 9 April.
According to Companies House, 16 Hospitality directors Edward Barlow, Graeme Burns and David Minchin all resigned from the business on 20 March with Andy Pringle and Paresh Majithia stepping up in their place.
The group owns two pubs in Cheshire, including its most recent addition, the Partridge in Stretton, Warrington, which it acquired from Birmingham-based operator Mitchells & Butlers and opened in spring 2017 following a £1m refurb.
The pubco also owns the Old Hall Hotel in Frodsham, Cheshire, as well as two pubs on Anglesey, Wales; the White Eagle in Rhoscolyn and the Oyster Catcher in Rhosneigr.
Since Covid-19 restrictions came into force and Prime Minister called last orders for pubs on 20 March, all four of 16 Hospitality’s sites have closed with the group furloughing the majority of its workforce.
Joint administrator O’Toole commented: “We are hopeful we can find a buyer for the businesses despite the current challenges facing the pub and hospitality sector.”
Pub insolvencies increase
According to research from real estate adviser Altus Group reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA) in February, underlying company insolvencies in England and Wales increased for accommodation, food and beverage companies by 10.4% throughout 2019.
What’s more, the group revealed that The Insolvency Service paid out more than £346m from the national insurance fund to former members of staff as a result of their employer entering into administration, liquidation, a CVA or another form of corporate insolvency – the highest amount in seven years.
The Government has, however, temporarily banned statutory demands and winding-up petitions issued to commercial tenants amid the Covid-19 pandemic in a bid to aid businesses that cannot pay bills due to coronavirus and help ensure they do not fall into deeper financial strain.
As reported by MA, the Government is also setting out secondary legislation intended to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 90 or more days of unpaid rent.