Sarah Willingham Nightcap (1)

Nightcap, the owner and operator of 46 bars, has raised an additional £1.5m, before expenses.

The new fundraising follows the company’s announcement on 22 May 2024 that it was initiating a round of up to £3.5m.

The latest finding is via a subscription for 30,000,000 new ordinary shares at an issue price of five pence per each.

In total, Nightcap has now received subscription commitments for a total of £2.25m, before expenses.

The late-night group, which operates Adventure Bars, Barrio, Dirty Martina and Cocktail Club, is raising cash as it looks to capitalise on stress in the market and consolidate the bar sector.

Nightcap has completed five acquisitions since 2021 and believes further opportunities will arise in the coming year for further accelerated M&A in the bar segment.

The fundraising will enable Nightcap to strengthen its balance sheet, so it is well positioned strategically when future consolidation opportunities arise.

Speaking last month, Sarah Willingham, chief executive of Nightcap and the group’s largest shareholder, said: “We believe that a once in a generation opportunity currently exists in the late night bar sector to create a substantial market leading group of the most popular and much loved late night bar concepts. It was always our intention to position Nightcap as the preferred consolidator in the premium bar sector and with this fundraising we intend to continue our efforts to create the UK’s leading bar group.

“A combination of businesses struggling with significant debt from the COVID period, ongoing macro-economic challenges from the cost-of-living crisis, and rail strikes have all escalated and accelerated the opportunity for consolidation, as we see a number of companies from across the sector considering their future strategic options.

“It is core to our strategy to be present in the conversations that will shape the late night bar sector in the UK as we approach the next economic cycle, with a more positive outlook on real wage growth, lower inflation, coupled with anticipated lower interest rates, which is expected to lead to an improvement in consumer confidence.

“Over the last 18 months, we have built a robust and professional management and leadership infrastructure at Nightcap and our team is capable of doubling the number of bars that it manages without the need for Nightcap to make significant further investment.”