PwC partners pull off quick Orchid sale after collapse

Insolvency partners from PwC have saved 5,300 jobs after brokering a
management buyout of the UK’s fifth largest pub retailer, only two days after
being appointed as administrators.

The new indoor smoking restrictions in July 2007 and a decline in consumer
spend forced The Orchid Group to restructure and eventually led to the pub
retailer going into administration.

David Chubb, Mike Jervis and Colin Haig of PwC were appointed on 13 December
and PwC said:

‘[The joint administrators] were able to agree a sale of the majority of the
business to a new company led by Orchid’s existing management team as part of a
financial restructuring the company has undertaken.’

David Chubb, said: ‘We are extremely pleased to have been able to effect an
immediate sale of this business, particularly in the lead up to the festive
season. Through the sale of the business, we have been able to save at least 240
of the group’s pubs and 5,300 jobs across the UK.’

The Orchid Group was formed in 2006 and had 287 pubs and restaurants with
more than 6,500 staff before it called in PwC.

As part of the main transaction, an option to purchase the remaining sites
has been sold.

‘The administrators are hoping that these will be able to continue and they
are now working with the purchaser to seek and secure the survival of the
remaining pubs,’ PwC added.

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