One of Britain’s biggest nightclub operators is seeking an emergency buyer after seeing its finances hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sky News has learnt that Deltic Group, which owns the Atik and Pryzm chains, has asked the accountancy firm BDO to identify new investors who could help avert its potential collapse.
Deltic employs 2000 people and trades from 52 venues across the UK.
The company is privately owned by its management team, led by chief executive Peter Marks, and a number of other individual shareholders.
Sources said that BDO had begun contacting prospective investors in the last few days, but added that the search for new funding was being undertaken at the worst possible time for the company.
The Night Time Industries Association recently warned that 60% of the UK’s nightclubs could face closure without further government support during the next two months.
Deltic itself has begun consulting on roughly 400 job losses, with Mr Marks telling the Financial Times last month that that figure could rise to 1000
In a statement issued to Sky News, a Deltic spokeswoman said: “The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK’s late-night sector has been well-publicised.
“Deltic’s board of directors is working with advisers BDO to assess all options available to the company, including the possibility of bringing in new equity partners.
“Deltic also continues to participate in discussions with the government regarding potential further support for the late-night sector during this difficult period.”
Revolution Bars Group, another operator of late-night venues, said last month that it was exploring options including a company voluntary arrangement to reduce the size of its estate.
Pub operators have also begun to initiate permanent closure programmes, resulting in substantial layoffs, with the 10pm curfew having decimated trade in recent weeks.