Country Pub Group goes into administration

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Into administration: Country Pub Group acquired the Battleaxes and the Castle Inn from Flatcappers as recently as August 2019
Into administration: Country Pub Group acquired the Battleaxes and the Castle Inn from Flatcappers as recently as August 2019

Related tags: MA500, Pubco + head office, Finance, Property

The operator behind a quartet of pubs in the south west has been placed into administration.

Country Pub Group owner, hospitality entrepreneur Matthew Lowe, was accepted onto the Virgin Startup Crowdboost accelerator scheme for entrepreneurs who want to raise funds through an equity crowdfunding campaign in February.

However, Steven Parker and Trevor Binyon, of Opus Restructuring & Insolvency, have now been appointed joint administrators for the Group. 

Country Pub Group’s four-strong stable comprises Somerset pubs, the Temple Inn in Temple Cloud, the Battleaxes in Wraxall and the Mendip Inn in Shepton Mallet as well as the Castle Inn in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.

The company acquired the Battleaxes and the Castle Inn from Flatcappers​ as recently as August 2019 off a combined guide price of £300,000.

Notices on each of the Group’s four pub websites informed customers: “Country Pub Group Limited (Trading As The Battleaxes, The Mendip Inn, The Temple Inn, The Castle Inn) - in Administration”

It added: “If you have made a deposit for or paid for goods or services by credit or debit card and the goods or services are not going to be received by the due date, you may be able to get your money back by claiming a refund from your card issuer. 

“Please contact your card issuer as soon as you can if this may apply to you. Further information including on time limits that apply is available from the UK Cards Association Credit and debit cards: A consumer guide.”

According to reports in Wiltshire Times​, there is speculation that a brewing company is interested in acquiring the Castle Inn.

Sector insolvencies 

News of Country Pub Group’s administration comes after accountancy firm Price Bailey found that 326 hospitality and tourism businesses​ including hotels, restaurant and pubs, became insolvent between 1 April and 30 June 2020.

The firm’s findings revealed that sector insolvencies were down 49% on the first quarter of 2020 when 643 companies went into insolvency – the lowest level since the third quarter of 2010.

However, since the Government’s enforced closure of pubs, bars and restaurants on 20 March due to the Covid-19 outbreak, pool and snooker hall chain Rileys Sports Bars​, Seafood Pub Company​ and 16 Hospitality have all slipped into administration.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, the family behind nationwide shoe repair chain, Timpson, tied up a deal for 16 Hospitality​ in June for an undisclosed sum – saving almost 100 jobs in the process.

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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