Antic Ltd enters administration

On Twitter, news breaks that Antic Ltd, an offshoot of pub company Antic, has entered administration, meaning an uncertain future of a number of local leasehold pubs, including Jam Circus and The Royal Albert.

Beer and pub writer John Brown reports:

To clarify there's Antic, which is OK, and Antic Ltd, an offshoot, reportedly in administration.

Liberty Beer adds:

The Administrator says they will continue as going concerns for now.

Antic Ltd's pubs include Jam Circus (which has been closed due to fire since December) and The Royal Albert (which was put up for sale recently). Both are very popular and either would be a huge loss to the area if it were to close. Hopefully a good buyer can be found soon.

Antic London's roster of pubs includes the Catford Bridge Tavern, The Sylvan Post in Forest Hill and the soon-to-open Deptford Job Centre.

You can see the full list of Antic Ltd pubs here.

44 comments:

Blunderbuss said...

Doubt very much that Jam Circus will ever reopen, in its current guide anyway.

Blunderbuss said...

*guise dammit

Brockley Nick said...

If you log-in, you can edit your posts.

Pete Thornton said...

Sounds like it could be a bit of a blow to the area. They also own the Ravensbourne don't they? I'm surprised they're in administration though what with their successful businesses - perhaps too much debt requiring refinancing at the wrong time.

Hopefully the pubs should stay open though even if it is under new ownership as they are succesful in their own right.

Brockley Nick said...

The Ravensbourne is owned by Antic London and thus is OK.

max doom! said...

the ravensbourne is last. miles too big

RIP Antic said...

Sad news indeed, they run some fine pubs.

But, I wonder, which pubs are owned by the company going into administration and which are safe?  There seem to be serveral companies associated with Antic directors.

Bill Ellson said...

The ownership of Antic pubs is less than straightforward. The Royal Albert was still owned by Black Ant Ltd, when the freehold of it and surrounding land and buildings were put up for sale. Black Ant Ltd and Antic Ltd used to share the same registered office address. 

Your 'full list' of Antic Ltd pubs includes The Dogstar in Brixton and The Clapton Hart in Clapton, which although they are operated by Antic Ltd are owned by Atlantic Dogstar Limited. See: http://www.downing.co.uk/Uploads/docs/805.pdf

Test said...

There's a lot of cross over on both sites about the pubs they own e.g. The Dogstar in Brixton - assume it's because both companies own a share.

Would be really sad if Jam Circus and Royal Albert close 

BLS said...

Probably a bit of creative accounting, and who can blame them. 

Simply Lorna said...

Ahem. If I can refer to my earlier comments on the Jam Circus fure posting regarding the delay in Jam Circus reopening and it being "odd"? I don't wish to say I told you so, but......

That being said, this is a huge blow. I hope that either another independant can come to the rescue or a viable business rescue plan can be reached.

'Andrew' Bowden said...

There's various "investment vehicles" you can use with property - I don't really understand it, but a lot of pubcos use them as a way of rapidly expanding.  Hence lots of different pubs will end up owned by various different companies, but managed by one.

For example, the Capital Pub Company managed pubs for the Capital Pub Company and The Capital Pub Company 2.  But the Capital Pub Company 2 had different investors and went off by itself to become the Convivial Pub Company.  The Massive Pub Company had a batch of pubs under the name "Glasshouse".  When Massive went under, the Glasshouse pubs carried on unaffected.

All very confusing and incomprehensible to mere mortals.

But from what little I've read, the Antic Ltd issues are all related to pubs it leases rather than owns.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes. You were right. I was waiting for you to say that ;)

Monkeyboy said...

Is it feasable that Antic could cherry pick the pubs it wants from Antic ltd? I'm sure it's all sensible to put these firewalls in your portfolio but doesn't inspire confidence. Expansed too quickly? I don't do bean counting.

Contrafibulation said...

Two points here:

1. I can only find literally those two tweets implying Antic Ltd is in administration. Anyone have anything a bit more concrete?

2. And on the tin foil hat, repair to Jam Circus is taking a while brigade, of course it is. You have a local pub which while fairly popular and I imagine is profitable I don't think it will exactly have bank busting income/profits. They then have a fire causing quite a bit of damage by either fire or smoke meaning insurers have to make a large claim. Are insurers going to have a look into it? Certainly. Is there going to be negotiations on settlements regarding how much the value of damaged property is in a place where a lot of the furniture seems to be acquired second hand? You bet! Are the HSE going to want to have a look carefully after a fire causes damage to neighbouring flats? Probably. Insurers will take a bit to pay out as will Loss adjusters and other various inspectors. Then there's repair time itself.

But yeah, let's throw rationality out of the window it's probably all a big conspiracy.

david said...

Whilst if Jam Circus is going I'm gutted; when it opened up (2004? 5?) It really like a lift for the high street after the Alpha Jazz Bar, not a nice veneu, and then nothing.

However, got to agree that not reopening after the fire is hardly evidence in itself. Given when the fire was getting a loss adjuster out before Christmas seems unlikely and you can't do anything until the premises have been inspected. Then, if you have even a minor cash flow problem, you'd probably have to wait for the insurance money to clear which could easily be six weeks.

Whatever, I hope it reopens soon either under Antic or, if needs be, new management.

Michael said...

Jam Circus is always busy so that cant be the big financial burden surely? Plus they have just secured planning to open a new pub in Woolowich. Also they have just changed their website to say they will reopen JC soon. Perhaps this was done by efficient staff prior to this sad news, but I hope as someone else said its just creative accounting. They are an excellent pub company!

Heckmcbuff said...

You did tell us so.

Brockley Nick said...

In answer to one, it's now being widely reporting and at the time I ran the story, it was confirmed by two separate trade journalists, as well as other companies.

licensed trade employee said...

Actually an unpaid tax bill sent them over the edge, they have a great ethos does Antic, very laid back. This will also be their undoing.....

'Andrew' Bowden said...

 With respect, is it being widely reported cos it's been on Twitter?  Not casting accusations on the state of local news websites, but...

Licensed trade supplier said...

Capital pub company was bought out by Greene King last year, Convivial are still trading but under reduces circumstances and Massive was run by a great big crook who ripped off my company and many others! I still do business with Glasshouse, under a strictly cash basis!
Antic (or one of their parent company's) didn't pay their tax on time- someone in the company panicked and they were immediately put into administration. We wait and see and hope they can pull through.

Licensed trade supplier said...

The Jam Circus is re opening very soon! Spoke to the women in charge today!

MalpasSimon said...

I'd be mortified if the Albert closed, SO many reasons why, but altogether I haven't yet found a better place to drink in London, and I'm not just saying that because it's only a 10 minute walk. Long Live Octopump!

Anonymous said...

I suspect that if they are selling off the pubs/leases of the pubs somebody will come along and take them fairly happily. The only issue is Jam Circus, which has a refurb needed as well, much harder to sell and least likely to come back alive.

Gutting.

Contrafibulation said...

Fair enough, I did search before posting that the only "evidence" I could find was the two tweets you referred to, there was a lot of Antic pubs chatter but mainly retweeting BC. As has been mentioned below there was nothing from local press or similarly "reliable" source. Wasn't sure if it was an official or you had heard.


Hopefully sounds more a bump than disaster if some of the below is accurate. Oh and good news if it is opening soon as last week when I bumped into the manager she was unsure of a re-opening date.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, bit confused by the Disqus system. I was the "RIP Antic" two comments ago, except I typed the name "Anonymous" not "RIP Antic". I've just been given another users name. Bit weird as it hasn't done that before.

I wonder if I'll be Anonymous, RIP Antic or Contrafibulation this time...
 

Daniel Woods said...

bc nick doing the back down enjoy it

Monkeyboy said...

And there was me missing Lou baker

Monkeyboy said...

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/17/01/2013/347102/London-pub-firm-Antic-Limited-in-administration.htm

Transpontine said...

When you were doing your predictions at the start of the year I was tempted to add 'Jam Circus will change hands' but decided not to because didn't want to spread rumours. But, as discussed in relation to the sale of the Royal Albert building here: http://transpont.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/royal-albert-for-sale.html , Antic's linked company The Black Ant Company went into administration last year, and various properties linked to it are being disposed of by receivers including land next to the Westow in Crystal Palace (an Antic pub). Now it seems that another company has gone under. The pubs are busy, popular and apparently successful, so hopefully can survive in some form or other. It may be that the property company overstretched itself (see the various non-pub sites on sale here: http://www.moorfieldscr.com/properties-for-sale/) and this has had a knock on effect on other companies (e.g. if pubs had favourable leases because they were in buildings owned by an antic property company). I've always assumed that the 'Ant' in Antic is Anthony Thomas, who seems to be the main man in many of the companies, including the Dogstar in Brixton which is where it all started I believe.

Richard Elliot said...

Local cooperative to buy Jam Circus anyone?

terrencetrentderby said...

What you can start selling mung beans to kids?
Jog on.

llalpaca said...

I just tweeted Antic London about whether all or any pubs will be closing and they replied a minute later with the following:
'Antic London is fine!! And ALL Antic pubs are open and trading!! Don't worry.'

Storm in a teacup?

'Andrew' Bowden said...

I think they're spinning slightly.  Antic London is the parent group and yes, they are fine.  And yes, all Antic pubs are open - it's just the ones in Antic Ltd are in administration! 

I wonder if this is some sort of pre-pack-style administration - one where all the pubs will ultimately still end up as part of Antic (or some separate company but run by Antic).  They used to use "Antic Ltd" as their master brand but have been shifting over to "Antic London" for a month or so.  This article suggests they may have had some financing issues with the Antic Ltd subsidiary:
http://www.propelinfonews.com/pi-Newsletter.php?datetime=2013-01-17%2012:00:00

llalpaca said...

Thanks for the link Andrew, that's very interesting. Not out of the woods afterall then..

Daniel Woods said...

i noticed this. the antic ltd site used to have all the pubs listed on it. over last month they disappeared and came up on antic london. perhaps this is a partition of the pubs which it is prepared to sacrifice, and those it isn't.

MJG said...

More news on this can be found here:

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/22/01/2013/347145/Antic-Limited-went-into-administration-over-tax-bill.htm

Fahy351 said...

Can you comment as to future plans for opening in Central Woolwich.

Councillor John Fahy,
Woolwich Riverside Ward.

Unknown said...

antic London isn't a company. it's a description name for the collection of pubs as the pubs there are now a few company's under the umbrella.

David Altheer said...

You may know that a buyer has been found http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Company-City-News/Pub-firm-Antic-Ltd-collapsed-owing-2.6m

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