Macfarlanes advises Buzz Bingo on CVA process and restructuring

Macfarlanes has advised Buzz Group Limited and Buzz Entertainment Limited (operating as Buzz Bingo), the UK's biggest omni-channel bingo business, on a restructuring process to protect the long-term prospects of the business.

Buzz Bingo, which is owned by FTSE 250 investment company Caledonia Investments plc, is planning a phased reopening of its retail venues from August 2020. However, due to Covid-19, management anticipate a reduced customer attendance on reopening which will result in a number of clubs being unable to operate profitably. 

To enact a financially supportable restructuring, Macfarlanes has assisted Buzz in entering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) process which, if approved, will result in the closure of 26 of its 117 retail clubs. Alix Partners are acting as the CVA nominees. 

Caledonia intends to participate in the restructuring process with the provision of £22m in new equity. In addition to advising on this equity raise, Macfarlanes is assisting with the restructuring of a debt facility to release £10m from the existing senior lender.   

The Macfarlanes team was led by relationship partner Stephen Drewitt and restructuring and insolvency head Jat Bains. Restructuring advice also came from senior counsel Paul Keddie and solicitor Tim Bromley-White, with assistance on the financing side from senior solicitor George Silber and on the equity side from corporate and M&A solicitor Winston Reynolds. Further expertise was provided by litigation and dispute resolution partner Lois Horne and senior solicitor Amy McLeish, with property advice coming from senior consultant Robert Porter and senior solicitor Jim Roberts.