Revolution Bars rebuffs merger offer from Deltic

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Revolution Bars has rejected a merger proposal from nightclub operator Deltic Group, whose brands include Pryzm and Steinbeck & Shaw.

Deltic said the two firms together would create a "powerhouse group", listed under the Revolution name.

But Revolution said Deltic's offer was "not in the best interests of shareholders at this time".

It is continuing talks about a £200m takeover by Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate.

However, Deltic said Stonegate's bid was "opportunistic" after Revolution's share price dropped due to a profit warning earlier this year.

'Expand and consolidate'

Revolution, which owns more than 60 High Street bars, suffered a sharp drop in its share price in May after it said it was facing "well published sector cost headwinds".

It said profits had been hit by the Living Wage, new apprenticeship levy and above-inflation increases in business rates.

In July, it said terror attacks in Manchester and London also briefly hit night time trade.

Deltic, which has 57 clubs including the Pryzm, Bar & Beyond, Steinbeck & Shaw, Atik, and Fiction brands, said teaming up with Revolution would allow the enlarged group to "both expand and consolidate the market".

But Revolution said after meeting representatives from Deltic, the board had "concerns over both the value and deliverability of the combination and did not see any merit in progressing their proposal".

It said it would continue in talks with Stonegate which has offered 200p per share and has until 28 August to make a formal bid for the company.

Stonegate's deal values Revolution at the same price it achieved when it joined the stock exchange in 2015.

Changing habits

Over recent years, cocktail bars and night clubs have also been hit by late-night regulations, the smoking ban and changing habits among the young.

According to the Office for National Statistic's figures on British drinking habits between 2005 and 2016, those aged between 16 to 24 years were less likely to drink than any other age group.

Given the squeeze on incomes and student debt they were also price sensitive and tended not to be big spenders when visiting a late night venue.

If they were going to drink, many bought cheaper alcohol at supermarkets and drank it at home before venturing out.

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