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Caprice Holdings’ restaurants ‘can survive for a year’

Caprice Holdings, owner of restaurants including The Ivy Collection and Sexy Fish, has said that it can meet liabilities for “at least 12 months”, but may require additional support from chairman Richard Caring.

The bar at Sexy Fish.

In an accounts document filed with Companies House, the restaurant group outlined the measures it had taken in response to the coronavirus. The group has closed all of its restaurants for an “unspecified amount of time” and has also furloughed “the majority” of its workforce.

In addition, it plans to take advantage of the 12-month business rates waiver as well as short term working capital loan finance.

It also detailed its projections for the impact of the virus, which are based on a number of conditions.

Firstly, its forecasts have been made on the assumption that its restaurant estate will be closed for six months, with “only a partial return to the original budget for the year”.

The group’s main loan facility as also been extended for an additional year to March 2021, although this has been agreed “verbally, but not yet formally”. Caprice also said it benefited from “strong support” from its bankers and significant shareholder, Richard Caring.

However, it acknowledged that it was difficult to estimate how the Covid-19 pandemic would affect the group’s trading, and for how long its impact would last.

The statement added: “In the event restaurants were closed for longer than the forecast scenarios, the refinancing was not agreed, or the short term government support for employee costs and tax payment deferrals is not available as forecast, then the company would need to seek alternative financial support from its main shareholder.”

It said that no “binding commitments” have been agreed, but that Caring has “historically been extremely supportive”.

“Given the associated uncertainty within this forecast, a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the statement concluded.

The company’s auditors, BDO, said that Caprice Holdings had “adequate resources to continue in operational existence for a period of 12 months” following the signing of the financial statements on 3 April.

It echoed the sentiments already stated above, concluding that the material uncertainty “may cast significant doubt on the group’s, and therefore the company’s, ability to continue as a going concern.”

During the imposed lockdown, Caprice Holdings has partnered with The Caring Foundation to produce thousands of meals for vulnerable people in the UK in cities including London, Manchester and Brighton.

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