Leading pub operator Mitchells & Butlers secures £100m coronavirus relief package
Mitchells & Butlers, one of the largest operators of UK restaurants, pubs and bars, has secured £100m of funding from Santander UK and HSBC UK as part of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).
Established in 1898, the Group operates 1,700 sites across the UK, including Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One. The funding will support Mitchells & Butlers through the continued disruption of Covid-19 and help to secure the jobs of over 45,000 employees.
The funding was split equally between HSBC UK and Santander UK, and is one of the first CLBILS deals to be completed since the government updated the scheme last month. This vital funding package ensures the business can continue operating as it prepares to reopen its sites in line with government recommendations.
The hospitality sector was one of the first to see enforced closures due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Mitchells & Butlers saw all of its sites temporarily close on 20 March; Government officials have signalled that pubs are unlikely to reopen before 4 July at the earliest.
Tim Jones, CFO at Mitchells & Butlers, said: “We are grateful for the strong working relationship we have with Santander which has enabled us to put together this support funding in uncertain times. As we come through the challenges posed by the abrupt shutdown of the hospitality sector we now look forward to welcoming back guests into our sites, where safety will clearly be of paramount importance.”
David Peters, managing director – head of real estate & leisure, Santander Corporate and Investment Banking UK, said: “Our pubs are a cornerstone of the British culture – transcending the hustle and bustle of the high street to the remotest parts of the countryside. Enforced closure of their 1,700 sites three months ago has been testing for Mitchells & Butlers, but this facility has given them some breathing space to cover interim costs and we look forward to the reopening of their pubs, restaurants and bars as swiftly and safely as possible.
Conor Hennebry – managing director, global head of DCM and European head of syndicated loans, Santander Corporate & Investment Banking UK added: “Santander is committed to responsible banking and to supporting our clients at this difficult time. This CLBILS facility will safeguard Mitchells & Butlers future and that of its employees through to the safe reopening of its pubs and restaurants. And we look forward to celebrating with them when that happens.”