Troubled Crewe-based alcohol wholesaler and distributor Conviviality Plc — which owns Bargain Booze and Wine Rack — said late on Wednesday it failed to raise the £125 million it was seeking via an equity placing with institutional investors.
Conviviality said it is in discussions with its banks and advisors regarding other possible options and has received enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts the business.
On March 21 the firm had warned: “If the company is unable to raise funds by way of the placing or otherwise, it is unlikely to be able to trade on a going concern basis.”
On Wednesday, Conviviality said: “On 21 March 2018, the company provided an update to the market on the actions the board were undertaking to resolve the company’s funding requirements.
“A key element to this was an equity placing to raise gross proceeds of £125.0 million, which the directors believe is the minimum amount required to adequately recapitalise the business.
“Despite a significant number of meetings with potential investors resulting in good levels of demand, and constructive discussions with a number of key customers and suppliers regarding the provision of support, there was ultimately insufficient demand to raise the full £125.0 million …
“The company is in discussions with its lending banks and advisors regarding other possible options and is in receipt of a number of inbound enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts the business.
“A further update will be made as appropriate.
“The board believe that shareholders in the company will receive little-to-nil value.”
Conviviality said on March 19 CEO Diana Hunter would step down amid a slew of problems including suspension of the firm’s shares following a £30 million tax demand that left it with a “short term funding requirement” and a recent profit warning that sent its shares down 60%.