Administration for Slug and Lettuce operator

Slug and Lettuce bars operator SFI Group has entered into administration.

The group, which also runs Bar Med, Litten Tree and Havana chains, will be
administered by PwC’s David Chubb, Mike Jervis and David Hargrave.

The administrators have already completed the sale of 98 sites, together with
head office functions, to the Laurel Pub company.

Chubb said that such a quick sale was ‘not unusual’ during administrative
orders, and SFI had spent much of 2005 looking for a buyer. Buyers were sought
for the other sites.

Chubb added that the initial sale should be viewed as ‘a significant piece of
consolidation’ in the UK licensed sector.

Some 789 employees currently remain with the unsold sites, while 2126 have
transferred to Laurel.

Accountancy Age was unable to discuss with Laurel whether any
redundancies would take place, as we went to press.

SFI was lambasted by the FSA in 2003, after a £23m overstatement was found in
SFI’s accounts.

Andrew Procter, FSA director of enforcement, said at the time that SFI’s
actions had constituted a ‘serious breach’ of listing rules.

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