Luminar suitors want deal tied up by Christmas

Steve Dinneen
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BIDDERS for toppled nightclub owner Luminar want a deal tied up by the first week of December or they will pull out of the running, City A.M. has learned.

One source close to the deal said: “There is some value in us picking up a company with the Christmas rush still on. Nobody wants to buy a load of nightclubs in the first week of January.”

Hugh Osmond’s Sun Capital vehicle has been in contact with administrators over a possible rescue deal, alongside unrelated private equity firm Sun Capital Partners and R Capital.

Luminar’s banks made the bombshell decision to stop supporting the firm last week, leaving a Numis-led rescue deal in tatters. Osmond’s Sun Capital had been involved alongside shareholder Schroders. Sources close to the consortium branded the decision “incredibly strange”.

It is understood administrator Ernst & Young will attempt to keep the firm’s portfolio of nightclubs open during the negotiations but may be forced to shutter the biggest losers if talks drag on into the new year.

Luminar’s equity value was completely wiped out after hitting a high of more than £9 a share in 2007.