The UK’s biggest nightclub firm, which owns a venue in York, is planning to draft in administrators as part of a major restructuring which could see a number of venues shut their doors for good.
Kuda on Clifford Street was brought back from the dead in 2021 when the building was bought by York developers and leased to Rekom UK for ten years.
Now Rekom UK, which runs roughly 35 clubs and 12 late-night bars across the country, said it had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators for a number of companies within the group.
Peter Marks, chairman of the firm, said the “notice of intention” gives the business “breathing space and protection” to work with lenders, landlords and other stakeholders on a potential restructuring plan.
Rekom said recent trade has been particularly impacted by the heavy toll of the higher cost of living on young adults and students who regularly use its venues.
It added that it has seen surges in its costs and would face further pressure from needing “to find an extra £2 million in wages” after the Government announced a rise in the minimum wage during the latest autumn statement.
Mr Marks said this “led to us having to accept that the group cannot continue in its current structure”.
As things stand, Kuda is open and trading normally.
Mr Marks added: “We still have a core of successful club and bar businesses and our Nordic brands, Heidi’s Bier Bar in Birmingham and Cardiff and Proud Mary in Cardiff and Swansea have outperformed all expectations.
“But we must go through this restructure to be able to come out stronger for the future.
“For any venues that may not continue as part of Rekom UK, we will do our best to find new owners and save jobs.”
Kuda, originally called the Gallery, was closed by the lockdowns for much of 2020. Owner The Deltic Group went into administration, and was bought by Rekom.
In the meantime, York developers Grantside and North Star joined together to buy the building, which also houses the York Dungeon.
They hoped to have secured Kuda’s long-term future by giving Rekom a ten-year-lease, and it reopened in July 2021.