Luminar Group sells 26 bars to Cavendish

17 April 2008 by
Luminar Group sells 26 bars to Cavendish

Late-night club and bar operator Luminar Group has sold 26 bars for 19p each to Cavendish Bars trimming down its total estate to 90 sites.

Cavendish, a new operator headed up by the former chief executive of bar chain Po Na Na, Christian Arden, will buy the leasehold clubs and bars as a collection of five individual companies, worth £1 each.

Luminar said it will also pay Cavendish £800,000 to take on the leases and make a near £10m loss on the deal.

The disposal removes Luminar from any liabilities on sites it previously sold to Candu Entertainment Group, which entered administration last month.

Stephen Thomas, Luminar chief executive said: "The disposal completes the strategy of streamlining the group's activities. It releases the group from liability for those units going forward and from the cost of having them on our books."

Thomas defended the performance of Luminar against a backdrop of rival operators, including Candu and Soho Clubs & Bars, entering administration in recent weeks.

"With a clear strategy we have built a strong business that is positioned well in its market place and will continue to generate significant sums of cash."

In a note on the deal, City analyst firm Charles Stanley Securities said: "Whilst this deal demonstrates strides are being taken by the group to exit poor sites, it also confirms how tough the late night segment of the market remains."

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By Christopher Walton

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