Conviviality CEO steps down amid turmoil

Diana Hunter

Troubled Crewe-based alcohol wholesaler and distributor Conviviality Plc — which owns Bargain Booze and Wine Rack — said on Monday its CEO Diana Hunter is stepping down with immediate effect.

Hunter will remain with Conviviality “for a period of time” to provide transition support.

David Adams, non-executive chairman of Conviviality, is stepping into the role of executive chairman until further notice.

“The company is continuing to engage with stakeholders as set out in the announcement of Friday 16 March and will provide a further update in due course,” said Conviviality.

Conviviality said on Friday it was in talks with its advisers and broker “regarding the possibility of an equity fundraise to effect a recapitalisation of the business.”

Shares of Conviviality were temporarily suspended last Wednesday as it announced that a £30 million tax demand left it with a “short term funding requirement.”

Conviviality also said last Wednesday it would cancel the interim dividend of 4.5p per share that was due to be paid on March 16, a move that would improve the firm’s cash provision by £8.2 million.

Last week’s announcements were just the latest pieces of recent alarming news from the firm that included a profit warning that sent its shares down 60%.