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Vagabond Wines appoints administrator

Wine bar chain Vagabond Wines has asked the High Court to appoint an administrator in an effort to restructure the business.

As originally reported by City AM, the wine bar chain has submitted a notice of intention to the High Court regarding the appointment of an administrator. Vagabond will be legally represented by McDermott Will and Emery. Other outlets also report that it has hired independent advisory firm Quantuma to lead the restructuring of the balance sheet.

Vagabond Wines, which was founded in 2009 by Stephen Finch, currently has 11 venues, concentrated mainly in London, though there are also locations in Gatwick Airport and Birmingham. The bars are known for their wine dispensers, enabling customers to serve themselves to different pour sizes of a range of wines. Finch left Vagabond earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Vagabond Wines issued the following statement regarding the appointment of an administrator: “All of our amazing Vagabond venues are open and trading, offering over 100 delicious wines by the glass, and there are no plans for this to change.”

“Due to legacy Covid debts, and other well documented cost pressures,” they continued, “and the loss of the company’s highly successful Heathrow venue due to the reconfiguration of airport security, the company has decided to undertake a restructuring to safeguard the business and protect the jobs of our brilliant team.”

The Heathrow Vagabond site opened at Terminal 5 in 2022 and was the result of a £1.3 million investment. It closed in January of this year.

In April 2020, Vagabond revealed to the drinks business that it had been denied insurance to cover losses resulting from its pandemic-induced closure.

“The management team, the board and investors remain highly supportive at this time,” the statement concluded.

It is understood that all Vagabond bars will continue to operate as normal.

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