Alchemy buys into Revolution

The buyout firm has made a 178p per share bid for Inventive Leisure, the AIM-listed owner of the UK vodka bar chain.

Alchemy Partners, the London-based private equity firm headed by Jon Moulton, has made a £42.5 million (€62.7 million; $75.1 million) offer for Inventive Leisure PLC, the company that operates the UK’s Revolution chain of vodka bars.

The firm said in a statement that it has offered 178p per share for the company’s entire share issue through its bid vehicle Caspian Bidco. This represents a 45 percent premium to the company’s 123p share price on September 5th, the day before it received the bidder’s approach.

The company’s directors have recommended the offer, and shareholders representing approximately 60.38 percent of the company’s equity have already accepted it.

Martin Bolland, a partner at Alchemy, told PEO that the first closing for the public offer was on January 9th.

Under the terms of the deal the management team, led by CEO Roy Ellis, will also increase their stake in the company. The team is expected to remain in place under Alchemy’s ownership.

Established in 1991, Inventive Leisure operates 40 bars under the Revolution brand, as well as four unbranded bars. The company joined AIM in May 2000, and in the year to June 30th generated earnings of 9.4p per share. During the same time period it had a turnover of £44.9 million and operating profit of £4.4 million.

If the deal is successful, market commentators expect Alchemy to merge Inventive with Tattershell Castle Group, the 178 bars it recently bought from Spirit Group for £177 million.

Press reports suggest that rival bar operators Ultimate Leisure and Regent Inns have not ruled out making a counterbid. Bolland denied that the firm was expecting any challenge.