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Leon mulls CVA proposal

Leon is reportedly exploring a CVA proposal in a bid to “preserve” its future amid the pandemic, Sky News has reported.

The plans, which are at an early stage, would reportedly include asking property-owners for permanent rent cuts.

The consultancy firm Quantuma was appointed by the chain in June to advise on agreeing new rent terms from landlords due to coronavirus restrictions, but the latest lockdown could force a CVA to do so, according to Sky.

In a statement to Catering Today, John Vincent, co-founder of the firm, said: “In the past few weeks we’ve had very constructive conversations with the majority of our landlords about how we navigate the ongoing challenges of Covid together. 

“We began this year with a profitable and growing business. Instead, as a result of this second lockdown our sales are 70 per cent below last year and this is unsustainable.”

He added: “In light of this, the most likely and constructive way to move forward with our landlords is through the framework of a CVA.”

Leon, which was co-founded in 2004 by Vincent and Boris Johnson’s ‘food tsar’ Henry Dimbleby, currently operates over 70 restaurants across the UK and abroad.

Vincent concluded that he “fully expect[s] Leon to grow again” once people return to “city centres and travel hubs”.

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