According to The Times, Minor is understood to have approached Caring, the restaurateur and private members’ club mogul who backs The Ivy Collection, Bill’s and Soho House, prior to the administration and is an ‘early frontrunner’ to take over the business.
One of Caring’s representatives met Minor late last week and Caring himself is expected to speak to the Thai investor early this week.
Minor, which acquired a majority stake in Corbin & King back in 2017, placed the group into administration last weekAfter saying it was ‘unable to meet its financial obligations’.
It followed an extraordinary breakdown in the relationship between Minor and Corbin & King co-founder and CEO Jeremy King, and came after the restaurant group filed a motion in the High Court to stop Minor calling in a £ 35m loanThat would have forced it into insolvency.
King has described Minor’s decision to call in administrators as a power play and last week vowed to buy back the group that bears his and business partner Chris Corbin’s name and pay back all the monies due.
Speaking in a video posted on YouTube, the restaurateur described his business as being ‘under siege’ from MinorAnd insisted that the company is ‘in rude health and as profitable as ever’.
He also refuted claims that Corbin & King, whose estate includes The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay, could not meet its financial obligations, saying that the only bonds it failed to meet were in respect to a £ 30m loan from Minor as part of the transaction when it bought into the company; and rejected the assertion that the company faced major liquidity constraints throughout the pandemic, saying that it did not require any financial support other than the Government’s furlough scheme.
Sky NewsHas reported that US investment fund Knighthead Capital Management has notified administrators to Corbin & King that it is prepared to refinance all outstanding loansOwed to Minor.
The appointment of administrators does not affect the operations of the restaurants within the group, which continue to trade.