Shearings owner Specialist Leisure Group has confirmed it is in discussions with stakeholders, advisors and the government following reports that it is seeking a buyer to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Sky News reported that the company was working with Pricewaterhouse Coopers on a potential sale, with sources saying SLG and its main stakeholder Lone Star Funds were optimistic about finding a buyer imminently. PwC subsequently denied it was working on the proceedings.

A statement from SLG said: “The travel industry has been severely affected by the impact of Covid-19 and the inability to operate any holidays on government instruction.

“Specialist Leisure Group is actively in dialogue with its stakeholders, advisors and the government regarding its options, which include the sourcing of the necessary financial support to enable the company to weather the storm of Covid-19.”

The Sky News report said the majority of Shearings’ employees were currently furloughed, and 2,600 jobs would be at risk if the company were to fall into administration.

The report added that a pre-pack administration could be an option if a solvent sale is not completed. A pre-pack administration allows parts of the business to emerge under a new owner.

Lone Star Funds took control of Shearings in 2016, and the company rebranded as Specialist Leisure Group in 2018. Lone Star is reported to have explored a sale of the business on two previous occasions.

* This story was updated on April 24 to include PwC’s clarification that it was not working on the proceedings.

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