The Bar Group, the London and south-east pub operator led by Paul Wigham, has successfully completed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) — and has warded off the threat of administration, writes Paul Charity. Working with accountants Gibson Hewitt, Wigham has persuaded his creditors to agree to a new business plan and is confident the Bar Group is now solidly placed to cope with the difficult trading climate. In order to proceed successfully, about 75% of creditors will have had to approve any proposal put forward by the company. The CVA process is generally applied when there is a better chance of creditors recovering a higher percentage of monies owed through an agreed deal, than a traditional administration. The business — which is chaired by Stephen Brook — operates 24, predominantly leasehold, sites that produce annual sales of about £10m. Many of the sites operate under tied leases. It acquired the 22-strong Wishing Well Taverns business in 2003. Wigham also runs an additional 15 pubs, which are run in a separate company.

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