Keen interest in troubled Coffee Republic chain
Published:  17 July, 2009

Coffee Republic's holding company, Coffee Republic plc, has gone into administration follo-wing the closure of 10 out of the 20 Coffee Republic (UK) Ltd-owned stores, which has resulted in 66 redundancies.

The failure of the holding company comes after its subsidiaries - Coffee Republic (UK), Coffee Republic Franchising and Goodbean - went into administration on 6 July, with administrator KPMG Restructuring moving quickly to close the 10 shops. A company-owned store in Glou-cester Road, London, was also closed shortly before the administrators were appointed.

KPMG said it was "confident of a sale this week", and it has been reported that it has received over 120 expressions of interest for the business or parts of it.

Among those rumoured to be interested in the chain are former chief executive and current non-executive director Steven Bartlett, as well as executive chairman Peter Breach.

The chain's nine remaining company-owned stores are trading as normal, as are its 70 franchised stores, along with 97 concessions that are not in administration. Industry sources said Coffee Republic was still honouring its contracts with bakery suppliers, although store closures would hit volumes.

Richard Hill, KPMG partner and joint administrator, said the stores that were closed were "no longer viable". "We are in discussions with interested parties with a view to selling the remaining business as a going concern," he said. "There has been huge interest from potential purchasers."




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