Alantra advises REKOM on the acquisition of the UK’s largest nightlife group Deltic
SECTORConsumer Goods & Retail
Alantra, the independent global mid-market investment banking firm, has advised Nordic bar and club operator REKOM on REKOM UK’s acquisition of the UK’s largest operator of late-night bars and clubs, Deltic, out of administration. REKOM UK will acquire 42 bars and clubs all over the country, a move that could secure over 1,300 jobs.
REKOM Group is the largest nightlife group in the Nordics and operates more than 130 bars and clubs in Denmark, Finland and Norway. REKOM Group has been backed by the Danish private equity firm CataCap since 2018.
REKOM UK is expected to merge with REKOM Group when the nightlife business gets back to full operation as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. REKOM sees the acquisition of Deltic as a major steppingstone into the UK nightlife industry and as part of REKOM’s ambition to become a leading nightlife operator in Europe.
The Alantra team was led by Bobby Fletcher, based in London, and Sebastian Hougaard, based in Copenhagen.
Bobby Fletcher, a Director in Alantra’s Real Estate & Hospitality team, said, “We’re delighted to have assisted in the acquisition of this leading business at a very difficult time for the UK’s leisure and hospitality operators. Deltic was a successful and highly profitable business before the pandemic and this acquisition provides a lifeline for the vast majority of Deltic’s locations, as well as saving a significant number of jobs. The newly formed REKOM UK is well placed to thrive once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted with the backing of an incredibly ambitious owner and a highly credible and experienced management team.”
Alantra Managing Partner Sebastian Hougaard, who is based in Copenhagen, added, “REKOM’s ambition is to become one of Europe’s leading nightlife operators. The acquisition of the UK’s largest operator of late-night bars and clubs provides it with key strategic access into the UK and takes its total number of venues to well over 170. Deltic’s spirit and culture aligns closely with REKOM’s and is the ideal platform for continued expansion across the UK and Europe.”
Adam Falbert, REKOM Group CEO, said, “We have been looking at the UK market for the past few years as part of our ambition to become one of the largest pan European nightlife groups. When the opportunity came to take over a strong and well-run group like Deltic, it was a question of finding the right set-up to make it happen.”
He added, “We see a huge potential in the UK market for late night bars and clubs and are certain that the industry will bounce back as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.”
Culture and entrepreneurship were the driving force behind acquiring Deltic
One of the key factors behind the decision to acquire Deltic was a match in culture and spirit between the people at REKOM and Deltic. Both groups are driven by people with long standing experience in the nightlife industry. Both combine the enthusiasm and ability to create venues and experiences where people go to meet and have fun alongside a spirit of entrepreneurship and drive to continue to develop and professionalise the business.
Hence, it was of huge importance for REKOM that the deal also sees Deltic CEO, Peter Marks, and crucial members of the Deltic management team continue their current roles in REKOM UK.
“When REKOM emerged to buy us out of administration I was really happy. We were – through no fault of our own – put in a situation, where I was watching our business fall apart. It was having huge personal consequences for our many fantastic employees whom we have had to let go. With REKOM we get an owner that knows the industry, who will reopen most of the venues we have had to close down and are ready to invest in developing our position in the UK. So, with that in mind it was an easy choice to say yes to become part of the future of REKOM,” says Deltic CEO and now CEO at REKOM UK, Peter Marks.
“We are extremely happy that Peter Marks and other key figures in Deltic have agreed to become part of REKOM UK and continue the work that they have undertaken so well already. They are driven by the same spirit of entrepreneurship that we value at REKOM. Like us they have been in the business for decades. They know how to create and manage bars and clubs that people love to go to. Remember, Deltic was a very successful business prior to COVID-19,” says Adam Falbert.
REKOM looks forward to reopening when restrictions are lifted
REKOM takes over control of the 42 Deltic bars and clubs immediately. However, due to COVID-19 restriction all the clubs will remain closed. The time during this period will be spent on integrating the former Deltic bars and clubs into the REKOM Group organization, to reap the benefits and synergies from the best both businesses have to offer such as using the same IT platform and supply system from day one when restrictions are lifted, and the venues can reopen.
“We are very aware, that COVID-19 is still very much among us, and that the restrictions on our business will remain for some time to come. But we are optimistic that the vaccines already approved in the UK and hopefully soon to be followed in the rest of Europe will spell an end to the restrictions. I am certain that we will see the industry bounce back quickly when they are lifted. And not least, I’m certain that are our guests are eager to get out to have the time of their lives after being under lock-down for almost a year,” says Adam Falbert.
Strong financial position despite of COVID-19
As with other players in the nightlife industry REKOM has suffered financially in 2020 because of the corona-pandemic. However, the group went into 2020 financially strong after a record breaking 2019, and the owners have since added both capital and lending facilities to the group to ensure that REKOM is able to pursue its strategic journey and come out of the COVID-crisis in a strong position, when restrictions are lifted.
The parties have agreed not to disclose the price of buying Deltic out of administration.
REKOM was also advised by Hill Dickinson (Legal). BDO acted as administrators who were also advised by Freeths (Legal).
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