Villandry still owes thousands to former staff

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Villandry still owes thousands to former staff

Related tags Administration Villandry Restaurant

Former staff at the collapsed Villandry café chain are unlikely to receive full payment from the company, documents show.

A progress report from administrators BDO LLP says the group owes an estimated £100,000 to preferential creditors, including former employees.

The document states that "based on present information" the company is unlikely to recoup enough from the sale of its assets to "enable a distribution to be paid to [preferential creditors]”.

Villandry fell in to administration last August​ with the closure of its two remaining London cafes.

The company owed £1.1m to Santander UK at the time, but BDO says it is “anticipated the bank will suffer a significant short fall” in repayments.

The administrators’ report says payment of debts is dependent on the transfer of the leasehold interest in one of Villandry’s former sites, but the timing of this is “uncertain” and may result in BDO seeking an extension to the administration period.

BDO is continuing to explore whether there is any interest in the sale of the company’s brand and other intellectual property assets.

Villandry entered administration after its pre-tax losses rose from £847,537 to £1.6m in the year to 31 March 2017.

The company also saw the rent on its flagship Great Portland Street site double in 2016, while rent at its St James’ café rose by 16%.

Its estate took a further hit with the 2017 closure of its site at Bicester Village, the designer outlet mall, which accounted for 47% of its turnover.

A rise in restaurant and pub groups entering insolvency drove a 31% increase in Government payouts to laid off staff in 2018, according to analysis from real estate adviser Altus Group.

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