Acquisition of business and assets from administrators

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Acquisition of business and assets from administrators

asb was instructed by Venus Wines PLC and LCL Enterprises Limited on the acquisition of Wine Rack business assets, intellectual property rights and 13 of the prime stores from the administrators of First Quench Retailing Ltd.  The sale included the trade name ‘Wine Rack’.

Our client had a window of opportunity to acquire the stores within a very tight timeframe following the administrator’s decision to close Threshers, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up and a number of other First Quench owned retail stores. There were a number of obstacles to overcome including the issue of lease assignments, staff transfers and trademark assignments. The deal had to be completed within seven days to achieve the purchase and rescue the stores and jobs of the staff involved.

We subsequently negotiated re-geared leases with the landlords of the premises from which the business is operating.The organisation currently occupies 175 sites across the UK and is the tenant under more than 200 leases.

In deciding to commit to using us in such a pivotal role, they took into account the close working relationship we enjoyed with their in-house property management team and other retained consultants.  However, the critical factor was our understanding that property is crucial to the strategy of sustaining and growing their business, and that the technical legal issues need to be dealt with in the wider context of their business needs.

We work with our client’s property management unit in a way where information is exchanged and documents saved in a form which suits their needs and allows on-going management to proceed seamlessly.

Our advice has ranged from employee relations and collective bargaining, to complex tribunal claims, advising on restructuring and change management programmes, as well as ensuring all of their contractual documentation and policies reflect both the culture of their business and the latest legal developments.

Since 2009 we have delivered bespoke training sessions to line managers on topics including diversity, sickness absence, flexible working, and handling disciplinary and grievance hearings.

Published: 26 Oct 2011

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