On-trade

Luminar Leisure bought from administration

UK nightclub operator Luminar has been bought from administration in a deal worth £45 million by a former Luminar Managing Director and former Chief Executive of Brook Leisure and Sports Café Peter Marks together with with former head of Whitbread’s Nightclub division, Ice Planet’s Alex Geffert and entrepreneur/nightclub owner Joe Heanen.

The trio are understood to be backed by two “high net-worth” individuals, according to a report in The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, with further investment in refreshing and developing its Oceana, Lava and Ignite brands likely.

The sale price is well above the £30 million bids thought to have previously offered to administrator Ernest & Young for Luminar Leisure.

Luminar Leisure once had over 300 outlets worth over £800 million before going into administration last October with a reduced outlet population of just 75 clubs but owing £85 million. At this point the chain, employing 3,000, was valued at just over £700,000.

It will be ‘business as usual’ for the group over the Festive period after which the estate will be assessed after which a number of units are expected to be sold off.

According to Peter Marks, the “perfect storm of high debt, an under-performaing tail and a lack of investment meant that the company could not survive the downturn when it came”.

However he stressed that the bulk of the portfolio is performing well, as are other privately-owned club and bar businesses.

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