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Nightcap ‘assessing’ options over rumoured Revolution Bars purchase

Bar operator Nightcap has responded to speculation that it is planning to acquire the debt-stricken Revolution Bars Group.

Early last month, Revolution Bars Group, which operates around 80 sites across the UK, suspended trading of its shares on AIM after it failed to publish its results. Group CEO Rob Pitcher cited a range of factors, including the cost-of-living crisis, to explain reduced footfall, and noted: “Net debt at 23 January 2024 is £20.3m, well within our facility with NatWest.”

Rumours that another hospitality giant will swoop in to acquire the group have since followed.

A statement from Nightcap, which oversees brands including The Adventure Bar Group, Barrio Familia and Dirty Martini, revealed that it is “assessing a number of possible options” surrounding Revolution Bars, including the possibility of a “share for share offer”, or the acquisition of brands or sites under Revolution Bars (such as Revolución de Cuba and Peach Pubs).

However, it was clarified by Nightcap that this is all at an “early stage”, with nothing concrete yet.

“The board believes that assessing the options is in line with the company’s ambition to create the UK’s leading bar group by consolidating the drinks-led premium bar segment of the UK hospitality sector through strategic acquisitions. The board considers that certain brands of Revolution Bars could be an excellent addition to the company’s existing portfolio of brands,” the statement explained.

“The board of Nightcap notes that Revolution Bars is currently in a formal sale process pursuant to the Takeover Code. Nightcap has decided not to participate in this formal sale process at this time.”

In February, Nightcap confirmed its purchase of live music concept The Piano Works, which has a site in Farringdon, and was also operating at Nightcap’s Barrio Covent Garden venue (something the group wishes to make permanent). Nightcap currently operates around 50 venues across the UK.

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