Still no buyers for struggling Honeycombe Leisure pub group

31 October 2006
Still no buyers for struggling Honeycombe Leisure pub group

Nearly six months after putting itself up for sale, struggling pub chain Honeycombe Leisure has still not found a suitable buyer, it admitted last week.

The chain, which operates the Amber Taverns and Ma Hubbards brands, said that, since announcing back in June that it was seeking a buyer, and "despite a comprehensive auction process", no bid had been forthcoming.

Honeycombe held talks with a mystery third party last autumn but discussions were terminated in May.

In full-year results announced last week, chairman Sandy Anderson did concede his talks to take over the company were continuing although, he stressed, "there can be no certainty that any offer will be forthcoming".

A major stumbling block appears to be Honeycombe's high levels of debt. In the results, to the end of April, the chain reported a loss before exceptionals of £1.7m, four times as bad as the £400,000 loss last time around, and despite a 14.7% rise in turnover.

Anderson was brutally honest in his assessment for the business going forward. "It is clear that the business cannot continue in its current form. The level of gearing and the demands on cash in the present challenging environment provides no upside for any stakeholders, be it employees, shareholders or the bank," he said.

Honeycombe Leisure puts itself up for sale >>

Honeycombe Leisure boss quits role for new challenges >>

Talks about a bid to buy Honeycombe Leisure continuing >>

Honeycombe drops disastrous foray into short-term contracts >>

By Nic Paton

E-mail your comments to Nic Paton]( no buyers for struggling Honeycombe Leisure pub group) here.

Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week -

[Sudoku]( "A new puzzle every day!") Join the craze and play Sudoku online!
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking