Deltic CEO Peter Marks has told MCA it should come as no surprise the business is exploring its financing options, including a possible equity raise, after seven months of closure for his nightclub estate.

The company has appointed advisors BDO to identify new investment, with a reopening date for the last night sector appearing more distant than ever.

Marks said the 52-strong Pryzm operator had been unable to access CBILS, CLBILS, bounce-back loans, arts council grants, with VAT reductions and Eat Out to Help Out no use to the shuttered business.

He renewed calls for government support for the hard-hit sector, while railing at “evidence-free” reporting about coronavirus in hospitality.

In a development first reported by Sky News, BDO has begun contacting prospective investors in the last few days.

The company, which employs 2,000 people, is privately owned by its management team, led by Marks, and a number of other individual shareholders.

The Night Time Industries Association recently warned that 60% of the UK’s nightclubs could face closure without further government support during the next two months.

Deltic has already begun consulting on roughly 400 job losses, with Marks telling the Financial Times last month that that figure could rise to 1000.

Marks told MCA: “Nightclubs have been shut for seven months and even the most robust of businesses would struggle with that. It should be no surprise that the board has appointed advisors and is taking a responsible stance to consider its options, one of which is to consider a new equity raise to keep the business from running out of cash.

“It was never cheap talk that the sector as a whole is in a battle to survive, which is why we urge the government to help the late-night operators whilst they keep us closed. We were trading well before closure, our customers want to come back, we are ready to open when we are able to and are not unviable save the government restrictions.

“Furthermore as a business whilst we are grateful for furlough support and the rates relief we have not qualified for CBILS, CLBILS, bounce-back loans, arts council grants and as we are closed VAT reductions and EOHO have been no use. We have still been given no opening date and despite working with scientists on a credible covid-secure way back are now in a battle with public hearts and minds on our ability to do so because of baseless, evidence-free reporting that has become gospel!”