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Vinoteca sold to private equity firm, saving 150 jobs

A private equity firm has saved 150 jobs after buying London wine bar chain Vinoteca out of administration.

Last week, the group warned it was on the brink of collapse after struggling to cope with inflation, spiralling energy costs and train strikes.

Vinoteca had already closed down its 4,500 sq. ft. venue in Birmingham in May, a decision that left the team ‘heartbroken’.

The company’s five upmarket wine bars in London were then plunged into jeopardy after the group filed for protection from its creditors.

However, administrators at Interpath have now sold Vinoteca to a London-based private equity firm called Breal Capital, which was founded in 2014.

‘After exploring a number of options, we’re pleased to have concluded this transaction which will see the continued operation of the company’s venues and which importantly, safeguards over 150 jobs,’ said administrator Ryan Grant.

Breal Capital is primarily renowned for investing in the steel industry, but it also purchased Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire earlier this year. It plans to maintain operations at all five Vinoteca wine bars, located in Borough Yards, the City, Chiswick, Farringdon and King’s Cross.

Elena Ares, Brett Woonton and Charlie Young founded Vinoteca in 2005, and it gradually expanded across London over the ensuing 18 years.

However, it was hit by the pandemic, followed by the inflation unleashed after the Bank of England ramped up quantitative easing to prop up the economy.

Its most recent accounts show that the business sustained a loss of £2.1m in the 12 months to March 22, and administrators were called in.

In a statement, Breal Capital praised Vinoteca’s ‘exquisite collection of fine wines’ and ‘exceptional culinary experience’, along with its focus on educating the public.

‘The establishment will continue to host a series of events, workshops, and tastings led by industry experts, allowing guests to deepen their appreciation and knowledge of the world of wine,’ added the private equity firm.

‘Each bottle of wine has a story to tell. We are delighted that Vinoteca can continue to share these stories.’


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