Drake & Morgan, the bar and restaurant group with sites in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, is entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

If approved, the CVA will result in the closure of three of group’s 22 bars and restaurants. All team members in affected sites will be offered alternative roles within the company.

It follows a strategic review of the business, which concluded action was required to enable the company to weather the trading conditions impacted by government-imposed lockdowns.

The proposal seeks the support of landlords and, together with the backing of other creditors in recent months, aims to secure the long-term future of the business.

The Bowmark Capital backed group said earlier this year was hoping to rebuild its finances with the easing of Covid-related restrictions.

Chief finance officer David King, who joined from Fuller’s earlier this year, said the year had been “incredibly challenging” for the sector, and while the outlook remained uncertain, the announced government roadmap to reopening gave some clarity and had led to strong demand and a high level of reservations.

Jillian MacLean, founder and CEO of Drake & Morgan, commented: “We started last year as a profitable and growing business and, in common with the rest of the hospitality industry, have been significantly affected by repeated lockdowns and tier restrictions. This course of action, if approved, will safeguard the future of the group and give it the breathing space it needs to recover. We would like to thank all our stakeholders for their support during this challenging period.

“We have started to welcome our customers back to our bars and restaurants and we’re fortunate to have a number of large terraces that are in demand. We have spent the last year developing our teams and innovating our product, and we are now looking to the future.”

Drake & Morgan has appointed Deloitte to advise on the CVA.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte, commented: “The CVA will allow flexibility in this period of uncertain trading by moving to a predominantly turnover-based rent model for its duration. Drake & Morgan was a successful business prior to Covid-19 and this action will enable the business to emerge strongly from the pandemic.”