Shearings owner in bid to avoid administration

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Sky News has reported that Specialist Leisure Group (SLG), owner of Shearings and the Bay Hotels chain, as well as UKBreakaways.com and Sportingbreaks.com, and the Caledonian Travel brand used in Scotland, is trying to avoid becoming the next corporate casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky reports that SLG is in talks with a number of potential buyers in an attempt to stave off administration, and that the company’s collapse could put 2,600 jobs at risk. The news agency said that SLG was working with accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to attempt to secure a future for the business. An insider was cited as saying that SLG and its controlling shareholder, the US-based private equity investor Lone Star Funds, were hopeful of finding a buyer imminently, and that if a solvent sale proves impossible, a pre-pack administration may be another option, to enable parts of the business to re-emerge under the control of another owner. It was believed that there were a number of parties showing interest in acquiring the company.

Shearings had already suspended its holiday programme and laid up its fleet of coaches as the effects of the virus outbreak first became clear. Most of SLG’s workforce is reported to have been furloughed under the government job retention scheme.

CBW has contacted SLG for comment, but has not yet received a response.