On watch

Managed UK pubs concern Barracuda Pubs Group is reported to have hired Deloitte to advise on its debt situation. The company declined to comment. Sponsor Charterhouse paid £262m to PPM ventures, the private equity arm of Prudential, for the business in a 2005 LBO. The deal was backed by a £103.8m opco-level debt package via MLA RBS.

Barracuda operates more than 200 managed pubs and bars in England, Scotland and Wales, split between five main brands: Smith & Jones, Varsity, Barracuda bar, Juniper and Cape.

According to the company, which declined to comment on the latest reports, it is one of the 10 largest managed pub operators in the UK, with annual turnover of more than £100m.

The UK pubs sector has suffered from the recent downturn, but also over the longer term from the dramatic gap that has opened up between supermarket prices and on-premises prices. Retail chains in particular have cut beer prices aggressively, breaking traditional drinking habits.

KPMG, administrator to UK textile retailer Rosebys, has agreed to sell 77 and close 59 of the chain’s stores. The deal will see the loss of 310 jobs but 495 have been saved through the transaction.