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SFI may be sold as pub group looks at options

24 January 2005 by
SFI may be sold as pub group looks at options

Troubled pubs group SFI has appointed financial advisers to examine a possible restructuring of the company's finances or even a sale of the business.

SFI, which owns the Slug & Lettuce and the Litten Tree chains, has appointed Kroll Corporate Finance to look at its options.

The pub company was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in April 2003 following revelations that there was a £20m black hole in its accounts.

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Slug: sales were up
Stuart Lawson, SFI executive chairman, is asking Kroll to look at a number of options, including the possibility of restructuring the group's £80m debt, the injection of fresh funding from a venture capital firm or even the outright sale of the business. In a trading update, SFI said it had seen a 2% increase in like-for-like sales for the year to the end of May, and similar growth over Christmas. The 57 Slug and Lettuce bars had seen a 9% rise, while the group's nine Latin-themed bars were up by 14%. The 59-strong Litten Tree chain was down by 2%, although seven sites that had recently been refurbished reported sales growth of 7%. Bar Med, with 18 outlets, saw sales tumble by 10%. by Nic Paton Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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