The Caterer

Luke Johnson to become chairman of Eclectic Bar Group

15 June 2015 by
Luke Johnson to become chairman of Eclectic Bar Group

Eclectic Bar Group has appointed serial restaurant entrepreneur Luke Johnson as its executive chairman, as it announced plans to raise £1.65m in a share subscription.

Johnson has agreed to subscribe for three million new shares in the 19-strong student bar chain whose brands include Lola Lo, Sakura and Po Na Na, priced at 50 pence each.

Meanwhile, chief executive Reuben Harley and chief financial officer John Smith also plan to subscribe for 150,000 new shares each, via their self-invested pension plans.

The £1.65m the subscriptions will raise will be used as working capital.

Johnson will not draw a salary as part of his appointment.

Meanwhile, in a trading update, the company said it had completed the sale of its Lola Lo operation in Norwich to Be At One for an undisclosed sum.

It said current trading over the past few months had continued to see "competitive pressures in a number of locations".

Eclectic has undertaken a review of all its sites and is now implementing a cost reduction programme.

"Given current market conditions, we are retaining flexibility over the timing of the development and opening of our two new sites in Sheffield and Liverpool," it said in a statement.

"An update on the progress of these sites will be given in September when we report our results for the year."

Johnson, 53, was chairman of PizzaExpress in the 1990s, a co-founder of the Strada restaurant chain, and chairman of Giraffe for nine years until 2013.

He currently holds directorships in over 50 companies, many of them related to hospitality, and is chairman of Patisserie Holdings, Gail's Bakeries, and Buffet Restaurants.

Eclectic reports ‘disappointing' sales at new sites >>

Eclectic is ‘cautious' on trading for next six months >>

Looking for a job? See all the current pub and bar vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

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

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

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.