Regent Inns ends sale talks and shuffles management team

26 June 2008 by
Regent Inns ends sale talks and shuffles management team

Regent Inns has ended talks to sell the business, shaken up its senior management team and announced a cost-cutting plan.

The Walkabout and Old Orleans owner blamed current difficulties in obtaining finance due to the credit crunch for a lack of suitably priced offers for the business.

In a bid to get the business back on financial track, Regent has entered into a sale and leaseback programme for some of its freehold properties.

It already has seven properties on the market for a combined £25m through property agents Christie & Co.

Regent will also review its current property portfolio and dispose of sites it deems to be non-core or poorly performing.

The bar owner has also shaken up its senior management team, appointing current chief financial officer John Leslie as chief executive.

Commercial director Simon Kaye will become chief operating office as current managing director for operations, Russell Scott leaves with immediate effect.

Current executive chairman Bob Ivell, will move to a non-exec role as he looks to oversee the hanges and implantation of the strategic plan in the short term. He will be replaced by fellow board member Jim Glover in due course.

Announcing profits for its current year would be minimal, Regent has also promised a programme to reduce costs in its venues and at head office.

Mark Brumby, leisure analyst at Blue Oar Securities, said that the measures were "not what the doctor ordered" but the failure of buy-out talks were not a complete surprise.

Regent Inns sales slump by 10.9% as talks to sell the business continue >>

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By Christopher Walton

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