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Bank Restaurant Group confirms merger talks

01 July 2004
Bank Restaurant Group confirms merger talks

Struggling Bank Restaurant Group is in merger talks with an unnamed party.

The company's managing director, Christian Delteil, confirmed the AIM-listed group had entered into exploratory discussions, but couldn't give more detail.

Chairman Leigh Collins signalled the group's plans at last week's half-year results announcement: "The directors are acutely aware of the problems associated with the company's small size for a public listed company. Therefore, the directors have continued to assess all realistic options… including proposals either to merge with other restaurant groups and/or raise funds to strengthen the existing balance sheet."

In February Conran Holdings, which owns 25% of the shares in the business, said it would not be buying the company outright, but would continue to offer sales and marketing support.

A Conran spokeswoman said: "We are very happy with our 24.9% stake in Bank and will be making no other comment at this time."

Bank Restaurant Group has a market capitalisation of £1.72m and three restaurants, two in London called Bank Aldwych and Bank Westminster, and one in Birmingham.

For the six months to 30 April, 2004 cost-cutting and a seasonal boost in customer numbers helped the group claw its way back into the black. Pre-tax profit was £13,000 and turnover £4.49m, compared with a £49,000 loss in 2003 and turnover of £4.5m.

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