As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), the Cheshire-based 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.
Since Covid-19 trading restrictions came into force and Prime Minister Boris Johnson called last orders for pubs on 20 March, all four of 16 Hospitality’s sites closed with the group furloughing the majority of its workforce.
However, the acquisition of 16 Hospitality’s business and assets by new Timpson family venture Flock Inns means that close to 100 jobs will be saved.
“The impact of Covid-19 on this sector has been significant and therefore we are delighted to have achieved a sale which preserves almost 100 jobs,” O’Toole, an advisory partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said. “We wish the purchaser every success as they take the business forward.”
The Timpson family was already a minor shareholder in 16 Hospitality and bought the remainder of the company shortly before Covid-19 took hold and forced the closure of UK pubs and restaurants in March. The family also held the freeholds to 16Hospitality's four pubs.
In light of the deal, Flock Inns’ estate now includes two pubs in Cheshire; the Partridge in Stretton, Warrington - which 16 Hospitality acquired from Birmingham-based operator Mitchells & Butlers and opened in spring 2017 following a £1m refurb – as well as the Old Hall Hotel in Frodsham.
What’s more, 16 Hospitality sites also included two pubs on Anglesey, Wales; the White Eagle in Rhoscolyn and the Oyster Catcher in Rhosneigr.
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.