Spectrum leads accelerated Disposal process of Oddbins
Spectrum Corporate Finance has worked with Deloitte LLP and the Oddbins management to achieve a successful disposal of the trade and certain assets of Oddbins Limited from Administration.
Oddbins Limited was one of the last remaining national off licence chains on the UK high street. The business was founded in 1961 before being bought in the 1970s by Nick Baile who led the business through a strong growth phase as wine infiltrated the British drinking habits. In 1984, it was acquired by Seagram and during its period of ownership reached the height of its development with 278 stores. The business experienced some difficulties in the late 1990s and was sold to the French group Castel, which also owns the Nicholas off licence chain. A further 7 years saw the return of the Oddbins then 132 store chain to the Baile family when Nick Baile’s son, Simon, acquired the company with his business partner, Henry Young.
Spectrum was called in by Simon Baile and Henry Young to help the directors consider strategic options in February 2011 when it became clear that the business was in financial distress. Spectrum’s partner, Clive Hatchard, brought considerable experience to the understanding of the options available following his previous CFO roles in retail companies which had encompassed leading an MBO and IPO prior to the economic downturn which necessitated a rescue rights issue in July 2008.
Spectrum introduced Lee Manning, Deloitte Partner, to the Oddbins management, to lead the attempted CVA and subsequent Administration, whilst it continued to run the fund raising and disposal process. Following the failure of the CVA process, the trade and certain assets were subsequently sold from Administration to European Food Brokers Limited which had held preliminary discussions with Spectrum prior to the Administration appointment. It was this early marketing of the business prior to Administration and level of competitive interest generated which undoubtedly helped achieve a quick disposal of the trade and maintained the Oddbins name on the high street.
“It was disappointing that the creditors did not approve the CVA proposal as we had several advanced offers of financial institutional support to fund the business. However, it was the advanced precautionary marketing of the company during the CVA process which undoubtedly enabled the Oddbins business to continue under the European Food Brokers ownership and maintain its iconic name on our high street. The competitive process ensured the best value was achieved from Administration and saved more jobs than could otherwise have been possible.”Clive Hatchard, partner at Spectrum Corporate Finance