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SFI Group calls in administrators

30 June 2005
SFI Group calls in administrators

Troubled pub operator SFI Group moved into administration last Thursday (23 June) before the sale of 98 of its 150 city centre pubs and bars.

The day after announcing it had gone into administration, management accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) announced it had sold off nearly a third of SFI's sites, including the majority of the Slug & Lettuce and Litten Tree pubs.

David Chubb, director at PWC and joint administrator, said: "We are conducting a review of the performance and alternative sale options for the remaining 52 sites." All of the remaining 789 employees have been kept on.

SFI brought in Kroll Corporate Finance earlier this year to review a mounting debt problem which had reached 80m. It was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in April 2003 following revelations of a 20m "black hole" in the accounts.

SFI declined to comment on the developments.

The sites were bought by the Laurel Pub Company, making it one of the UK's biggest owners of managed pubs, with more than 400 city centre outlets.

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