Nightclub operator Luminar is in the advanced stages of a deal to dispose of its Chicago Rock Café and Jumpin' Jaks businesses after months of uncertainty.
Luminar intends to create a new operating company for its entertainment division, which it will maintain a minority interest in.
As part of the process the company will then complete a sale and leaseback programme of the freehold properties within the division, retuning surplus cash to shareholders.
In May the company announced officially that it would be ditching the entertainment division, which includes Chicago Rock and Jumpin' Jaks, as it no longer formed part of its future growth strategy, which is based on branded nightclub development.
Luminar had sought to sell the entertainment division in 2005 but failed to attract high enough bids.
The company, which owns nightclub brands Ignite, Liquid and Oceana, has today appointed The Restaurant Group's non-executive chairman Alan Jackson to the board as chairman. He replaces Keith Hamill who will retire at the end of the year.
Luminar has also recruited David Haimes as managing director of operations.
Pre-tax profit was down £3.2m to £7.6m (2005: £10.8m) in the half year ended 31 August. Turnover was £99.4m compared with £95.8m a year ago.
Net debt was reduced by £21.5m from 1 September 2005 to £118.9m.
By Chris Druce
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