Saved: The nightclubs which host Jongleurs

£45m sale of Luminar chain

The nightclub chain where Jongleurs runs more than half of its comedy nights has been saved in a £45million deal.

Luminar collapsed into administration in October with debts of £140million. But now a trio of leisure industry executives have brought the company – and say they expect to revitalise the network of Liquid, Oceana and Lava & Ignite clubs.

Among the new buyers is Peter Marks, who was previously managing director of Luminar, and a former non-executive director of Regent Inns – the company that used to own Jongleurs until it collapsed in 2009.

In a statement, he said: ‘There was always a solid core business within Luminar but, in common with many in the sector, the perfect storm of high debt, an under-performing tail and a lack of investment meant that the company could not survive the downturn when it came.

‘The bulk of the estate is performing well, as are other privately owned club and bar businesses.

‘Luminar has a lot of good people and I am certain that with hard work, the right financial structure and an investment programme the company can look forward to a great future.’

Administrators Ernst & Young previously announced the closure of 11 loss-making clubs, but have kept the other 65 – including the 11 which host Jongleurs comedy nights – going until a buyer was found.

Former nightclub operators Joe Heanen and Alex Geffert complete the consortium of buyers. Mr Geffert, former managing director of Whitbread, said: "Now we are on firm financial footing we have plans to refresh many of the clubs over the next two years. We believe the lights are firmly back on for the company, saving thousands of jobs into the bargain.’

Luminar employs around 3,000 people in its city centre clubs.

Published: 10 Dec 2011

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