It has been reported that the London-based food market hall operator, Try Market Halls, is to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for its 4 entities,
- Try Market Halls, (TMH), - Non Trading
- Try Market Halls Fulham Broadway (TMH Fulham),
- Try Market Halls Victoria (TMH Victoria),
- Try Market Halls Oxford Street (TMH Oxford Street)
The business said that like the majority of UK hospitality companies, it has suffered as a result of Covid-19 The companies’ sites have remained shut since 23 March 2020.
The company's directors decided not to reopen any of the sites when restrictions were loosened as they agreed with social distancing and other pandemic restrictions in place. It was the view that their markets would in central locations be very quiet.
With the sites now not anticipated to reopen until later this summer, at the very earliest, and with trade creditor balances continuing to mount-up, each company is now taking decisive action to safeguard its future by undertaking a financial restructuring programme which is funded by a new investor in the business, Gees Court Partners.
Andy Lewis-Pratt, founder and chief executive of Market Halls, said: “The past 14 months have been the most challenging of my career. Prior to the pandemic, we were fast-growing and had exciting plans for our business. But with prolonged restrictions forcing us to close our doors indefinitely, the future of Market Halls is now at real risk. We’ve been working incredibly hard to find a way through, and after much consideration, it’s our firm belief that these CVA proposals represent the best means possible of giving us the flexibility we need to secure our future.”
Will Wright and Chris Pole, of Interpath Advisory who are a spin off from KPMG, are the proposed nominees of the CVA. Wright said: “With little prospect of the business being able to reopen until the mid to late summer at the very earliest, the CVA proposals provide the companies with the additional flexibility they require to navigate the challenging months ahead, as well as securing new investment for the future.”
TMH Fulham, TMH Oxford Street and TMH Victoria have reached consensual agreements with their landlords such that no further compromise of the leases is required. The landlords are therefore classed as critical creditors for the purposes of the CVAs, and as such are excluded from the proposals. Detailed proposal documents will be made available to creditors via a dedicated website today (Tuesday, 1 June). The creditors will have until 16 June 2021 to vote on the proposals.