Macfarlanes advises Teneo Financial Advisory in role as monitor over Corbin & King group refinancing

16 February 2022

Macfarlanes has advised Benji Dymant and Rob Harding of Teneo Financial Advisory as monitors of Part A1 moratoria of companies within the Corbin & King group. The moratoria allowed the companies, which included the owners of The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zédel among other restaurants, to avoid administration and successfully conclude a refinancing of their debt with funds managed by Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management.

The moratorium under Part A1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 was part of a raft of measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to help facilitate the rescue of financially distressed companies. A moratorium allows a company to have breathing space from its creditors while a restructuring or rescue is worked out. The monitors play a crucial role overseeing the moratorium and deciding whether the protection that the moratorium provides against creditor action can continue.

The moratoria for the Corbin & King companies were the first to be contested since the Part A1 moratorium was introduced in 2020. Macfarlanes acted for the monitors to oppose an application by Corbin & King’s previous secured creditor, Minor Hotels, to remove the monitors and end the moratoria. The case was heard before Sir Alastair Norris in the High Court. The judgment is still awaited, though the moratoria have now successfully concluded with the completion of the refinancing.

The Macfarlanes team consisted of partners Paul Keddie (restructuring and insolvency) and Lois Horne (litigation), senior solicitor Amy McLeish (litigation) and solicitor Tim Bromley-White (restructuring and insolvency). Stephen Robins of South Square acted as counsel for the monitors.

Paul Keddie comments: “This is the most high-profile Monitorship since the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act was passed in 2020 and we’re excited to have helped achieve a result which keeps the operating companies within the Corbin & King group out of administration”.

Benji Dymant, Assistant Director at Teneo comments: “We are thrilled to have played our part in helping preserve a number of London’s most iconic and best loved restaurants. All the restaurants have managed to navigate through the pandemic and are now flourishing under the leadership of Jeremy King and his team. The use of the Monitorships to provide breathing space to allow the group to refinance its debt obligations, shows how the CIGA legislation enables good businesses to avoid administration, preserving jobs and value for all stakeholders”.