High Street

Conviviality surprise £30m tax bill prompts business review

Off-licence retailer Conviviality has announced it is reviewing the business while holding “constructive” negotiations with lenders, as part of the measures it is taking to handle its £30m tax bill.

Earlier this week, the company said that the bill due for payment to HMRC on 29  March had only been discovered on 13 March and had not been accounted for in its short-term cash flow projections.

As a result there was a suspension of Conviviality’s shares on the junior market and the cancellation of an £8m dividend payment planned for shareholders.

In a statement, the owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack said both its customers and suppliers continued to be supportive.

It also confirmed that PwC had been appointed to undertake a review of the business and its future funding requirements and said it is liaising with advisers and brokers regarding the possibility of an equity fundraise to effect a recapitalisation of the business.

In regards to its surprise £30 million tax bill, Conviviality said the HMRC has been receptive to its needs and that negotiations were ongoing.

The company stated: “The board wishes to express its gratitude to all its stakeholders for their ongoing support during this difficult period for the company.”

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