Walkabout operator Intertain has compiled a list of target towns and cities for new acquisitions.
The company has been reducing its estate since it emerged from the pre-pack administration of Regent Inns in October 2009 with 60 sites. It currently operates 39 venues.
When asked about if there are now plans to expand, chief executive John Leslie told M&C Report: “At some point in the future, yes. We have target list of towns and cities that we want to get into, but it has to be the right location.”
Leslie said there are no numbers in mind for expansion. “We have to be choosy. Quality is more important than numbers.
“In the mid-2000s we were caught up in targets of how many sites we could go to and they are now closed. But we’d rather have a small number and have quality than go for absolute numbers.”
Leslie revealed that the company is to exit its Walkabout bar in Edinburgh. “The site there is not right,” he said. The firm is looking for another outlet in the city.
Intertain is currently in the process of refurbishing between 15 and 20 Walkabouts at a cost of £7m to £9m.
Last year the company agreed a debt-for-equity swap worth £29.9m with its banking group, which was reduced to three: Barclays, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It followed news that the operator reported a loss of £28.7m in its first 67 weeks of trading, following its emergence from Regent Inns.