Thursday 19 November 2020 3:36 pm

Nightclub owner Deltic asks for rent holiday as it warns of closure

The UK’s largest nightclub operator has asked for a break from rent payments as it warned of imminent collapse unless a sale can be agreed.

Deltic Group, which owns brands including Oceana and Przym, has put itself up for sale after months of closure during the pandemic threatened to force the company into liquidation.

Read more: Nightclub owner Deltic puts itself up for sale as cash dries up

But chief executive Peter Marks today launched an urgent plea to landlords to grant a rent-free period to help avoid collapse.

In a letter, seen by Sky News, Marks told landlords the rent holiday was needed because “no interested party is prepared to proceed and accrue a rental liability without the knowledge that long term occupation of the property can be secured”.

He added that “without a successful sale, the business will have no option but to be closed.”

Deltic, which operates 52 clubs across the UK, was forced to shutter its estate in March, faces continued uncertainty about when the sector will reopen.

The company has been forced to cut 1,000 staff – roughly half its workforce – but is still burning through £1m per month.

“The management team of Deltic Group firmly believe that when they are allowed to open they will once again have a viable long term business,” Marks wrote in the letter.

“In the interim any investor will have to fund substantial holding costs to maintain the staff and meet statutory obligation until the clubs can be reopened.

“Whilst bidders are willing to invest without clarity on an opening date, they require the support of the landlord group through the closure period.”

Read more: Bouncers to enforce mask-wearing in nightclubs under sector’s reopening proposals

Accountancy firm BDO, which is advising Deltic on the sale process, is expected to select a preferred bidder in the coming days, according to the report.

A Deltic spokesperson said: “The Deltic Group confirms it is in negotiation with a number of its landlords to extend their rent free periods as Deltic enters the final bid stage for the company. It has received a number of credible offers and will provide an update in due course.”