Further blow for Leonardo

21 February 2002 by
Further blow for Leonardo

Scotland's Leonardo & Co Italian restaurant chain, which went into receivership on 4 January, has been struck by more misfortune as the company brought in to run the business has itself now gone into provisional liquidation.

Albion Contracts was brought in to run Leonardo's seven restaurants last month but has now gone bust. Albion specialises in providing management and staff for pubs and restaurants on a contract basis.

Despite this setback, Leonardo's receiver Bruce Cartwright believes a purchaser will be found for the group by the end of this month.

Leonardo's is one of a number of high-profile closures which have hit Scotland since the beginning of the year.

The closures are part of an overall downward trend in Scotland, which has been much more dramatic than in the rest of the UK. The number of insolvencies in all sectors in Scotland was up 20.6% between the fourth quarter of 2000 and fourth quarter of last year and the annual figures were at their highest for a decade in 2001. This compares with a rise of 2.4% during the same period in England and Wales.

The reasons are a marked downturn in the Scottish economy, which has been badly hit by both foot-and-mouth disease and a considerable drop in tourism.

There are also concerns that banks may be acting sooner rather than later in picking up on indebted businesses and seeking to close them quickly rather than let them ride out the economic storm.

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