Fine dining firm appoints FRP for administration

28 January 2022 2 min. read

Corbin & King, a company operating several of London’s fine diners, has been placed into administration. Experts from FRP Advisory will now look to sell off the company’s assets.

After trade was devastated by the pandemic, the owner of high-end London restaurants has fallen into administration. Corbin & King has been building a portfolio of top-tier diners since the 1980s, including the Wolseley, the Delaunay, Brasserie Zedel, Colbert, and Fischer’s.

However, the pandemic has seen the UK capital’s hospitality industry suffer a protracted collapse in trade. While restaurants hoped to return to business as usual late in 2021, they faced another period of uncertainty at the end of the year. Amid safety concerns around the Omicron variant, many people stayed home through the crucial festive period.

Fine dining firm appoints FRP for administration

Corbin & King was already engaged in an ongoing lawsuit against Axa Insurance, for as much as £4 million, after the company failed to pay out on claims linked to the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020. As a result, this latest setback proved a bridge too far for Corbin & King’s largest lender and shareholder – Thai hotel giant Minor International – which has appointed FRP Advisory as administrators.

Speaking to Bloomberg, a representative for FRP confirmed the appointment and said it does not impact the operations of the subsidiary companies within the group. Meanwhile, New York-based fund Knighthead Capital Management has offered to refinance all outstanding loans owned to Minor, according to Sky News.

A statement from Minor claimed the move came after Corbin & King failed to meet its financial obligations with respect to its lending facilities. Minor has previously lent £38 million worth of direct loans and guarantees to the company, and has made “repeated proposals” to recapitalise the company while pushing the board for cash injections to stabilise the business – calls which co-founder Jeremy King and other shareholders apparently declined.

Minor claimed this left it with “no other viable option than to appoint administrators to the business. On the contrary, however, King has insisted there was “absolutely no need to go into administration”, and argued the company was “trading extremely well” and continuing to pay its suppliers and staff. Instead, he asserted that Minor, which holds 74% of the company’s stock, was making a “power play” for the group’s holding company, and stated his intention to buy the company out of administration.