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150 jobs saved as private equity firm buys wine bar chain Vinoteca out of administration

A City private equity firm has bought upmarket wine bar chain Vinoteca out of administration, saving 150 jobs after train strikes and high energy costs put the operation on the brink of collapse (Evening Standard)
A City private equity firm has bought upmarket wine bar chain Vinoteca out of administration, saving 150 jobs after train strikes and high energy costs put the operation on the brink of collapse (Evening Standard)

A City private equity firm has bought upmarket wine bar chain Vinoteca out of administration, saving 150 jobs after train strikes and high energy costs put the operation on the brink of collapse.

Administrators at Interpath sold Vinoteca, which has five locations all in London, to Cannon Street-based Breal Capital.

Last week, the chain warned it was close to collapse, blaming “inflation, spiralling energy charges and regular train strikes”. It closed a Birmingham wine bar, the largest in the UK’s second city, in May, less than a year after it opened.

The wine bar was founded by Elena Ares, Brett Woonton and Charlie Young in 2005. They remained as directors and major shareholders until administrators took over.

Administrator Ryan Grant said: “After exploring a number of options, we’re pleased to have concluded this transaction which will see the continued operation of the company’s venues and which importantly, safeguards over 150 jobs.”

A Breal Capital spokesperson added: “Vinoteca is a premier destination for wine enthusiasts, offering an exquisite collection of fine wines from around the world, complemented by an exceptional culinary experience.

“Beyond its outstanding collection of wines and delectable cuisine, Vinoteca distinguished itself through its commitment to education. The establishment will continue to host a series of events, workshops, and tastings led by industry experts, allowing guests to deepen their appreciation and knowledge of the world of wine.

“Each bottle of wine has a story to tell. We are delighted that Vinoteca can continue to share these stories.”

Breal, founded in 2014, had been best known for investments in the steel industry, but it also bought Yorkshire brewery Black Sheep earlier this year.

Vinoteca’s most recent accounts, for the year to 22 March, show the business made a £2.1 million loss in a year that was partially disrupted by pandemic-era measures. In the accounts, the business warned it was reliant on the support of its bankers to stay in business.

Vinoteca’s London fine bars are at London Bridge, Bloomberg Arcade, Farringdon, Kings Cross and Chiswick.