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Bar group sale saves 220 jobs 29 September 2014

A group of bars have been sold after Newcastle-based parent company Utopian Leisure Group Limited entered administration.

Utopian Leisure Group acted as a holding company for Sam Jacks (located in Newcastle), Fat Buddha, Loveshack (both located in Durham) and Box (located in Belfast), as well as two further dormant subsidiaries.

The sale has preserved 220 jobs, as well as operating licenses across the four trading and two dormant businesses.

Daniel Butters and Clare Boardman of Deloitte were appointed as joint administrators of Utopian Leisure Group Limited on 22 September.

Upon appointment, the assets of Utopian Leisure Group were sold to Hot Buddha Limited and Ulysses Leisure Limited and all employees were transferred to “either one of the two purchasers”.

Butters, partner at Deloitte, said: “The structure of the transaction allows the trading subsidiaries and the licensed venues to operate as usual and all employees to be retained”.

“The trading performance across the venues had been poor due to a number of venue specific issues combined with challenging market conditions.

“These include restrictions on discretionary consumer spend, new entrants into local market with ability to fund capital expenditure investment and capital expenditure requirement for some of the Group’s existing units.”

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