Loungers extends credit facility for 12 months

Loungers, the operator of 168 venues in England and Wales under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, has had a 12-month extension to its £15m revolving credit facility (RCF) approved by its lending banks Santander and Bank of Ireland.

This additional facility, first put in place in April 2020, will now run to October 2022, provides the company with total RCF facilities of £25m.

Covenant tests at 18 April 2021 have been waived and subsequent quarterly tests until 26 December 2021 have been re-set to provide appropriate headroom to enable a full resumption of the company’s new site rollout programme.

Loungers will initially reopen 47 sites in England on 12 April for takeaway and external trading, and five sites in Wales on 26 April on the same basis.

Assuming no changes are made to the government's roadmap, the company plans to reopen all of its English sites by 17 May and sites in Wales later in May subject to confirmation from the Welsh government.

In addition, four new Lounge sites are planned to open in Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Welwyn Garden City and St Ives by 26 May bringing the estate to 172 sites in total, comprising 142 Lounges and 30 Cosy Clubs. 

“Having been closed since 30 December, it is really exciting to be back in some of the sites, preparing to open our terraces to customers on Monday," comments Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers.

"Whilst it is frustrating that we have to wait until 17 May to reopen more fully given the steps we have taken to ensure our business is Covid-safe, it does allow us to re-open gradually, bring our teams back from furlough and get the supply chain back up and running.

“We expect to trade well once the estate is fully re-opened, particularly with our strong coastal presence as we look forward to a summer of staycationing. Planned new openings in Blackpool, Scarborough and Aberystwyth ahead of the summer holidays will reinforce this position.

"Our suburban and market town locations, combined with our flexible, all-day model,mean we are well-positioned as we look to the future.

“The most recent lockdown has given us a real opportunity to build a fantastic pipeline of new sites in what is undoubtedly a tenant-friendly environment.

"We will approach the coming months cautiously but are very keen to get back to opening 25 sites a year at the earliest opportunity with such excellent properties being presented to us, and we are grateful to Santander and Bank of Ireland for their continued support.”