Market Halls, the London-based food market hall operator, confirms the launch of Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposals for four group entities.
Try Market Halls Limited (“TMH”), Try Market Halls Fulham Broadway Limited (“TMH Fulham”), Try Market Halls Victoria Limited (“TMH Victoria”), and Try Market Halls Oxford Street Limited (“TMH Oxford Street”) (together, the “Companies”) are each launching a CVA.
Founded in 2017, the Companies operate three sites in central London – TMH Fulham, TMH Oxford Street and TMH Victoria. TMH is a non-trading holding company, which employs the management team and head office staff.
In common with the majority of UK hospitality businesses, the Company has been impacted enormously by the onset of lockdown measures resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns.
Each of the Companies’ sites has remained closed since the first national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. The board decided not to reopen any of the three sites each time restrictions were loosened as they agreed that with social distancing and other pandemic restrictions in place, their central London locations could expect very low footfall and reopening would be likely to result in an increased cash shortfall.
With the sites now not anticipated to reopen until Summer 2021 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 from Interpath Advisory are the proposed Nominees of the CVA.
Will Wright, Head of Restructuring at Interpath Advisory, said: “London’s hospitality sector has seen trade decimated during the course of the pandemic, and Market Halls is no exception. 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. The creditors will have until 16 June 2021 to vote on the proposals.