Jobs ‘saved at Glasgow’s Abandon Ship after last-minute deal averted its closure’

Job have reportedly been saved at a popular Glasgow bar after a last-minute deal averted its closure.

Scottish hospitality firm MacMerry 300 was put into liquidation on Tuesday, throwing the future of its venues across Scotland into doubt.

However, the Glasgow Times understands that staff at its flagship venue, the Abandon Ship in the Mitchell Street area, will not be affected after the business was transferred to Belford Ltd before administrators were called in.

We spoke to a staff member at the popular bar who told us that their jobs were safe.

The insider said: “We’ve been told there is nothing to worry about.

“The former parent group of Abandon Ship is being wound up, but we have been transferred to a new firm and it’s business as normal for the team here.

“Everyone is obviously relieved as there was a lot of uncertainty.

“It’s good to have some clarity and peace of mind and we can get on with the job of serving our customers.”

Blair Nimmo and Geoff Jacobs, from Interpath Advisory, announced their appointment as joint liquidators of the company on Tuesday.

Although they said 63 staff would be made redundant, Belford Ltd, a company formed by MacMerry 300 director Andrew John McMenemy, has told Unite that it will be re-employing staff.

Union chiefs also said they understand their members’ futures to be secure.

Unite Hospitality’s Bryan Simpson said: “Following discussions, we have been assured that all of these workers are to be re-engaged to work for Belfort Ltd, who will be taking over ownership of these bars, which include Abandon Ship in Glasgow city center.

“Our members have since received engagement letters to that effect from Belford director AJ McMenemy.”

MacMerry had a meteoric rise since starting out in 2014, opening a string of bars across the country, but over the last 12 months, the firm has been plagued by negative publicity over the alleged mistreatment of staff, with 70 of them raising a collective grievance .

In a statement, Interpath Advisory said: “Due to the detrimental impact of Covid-19 restrictions upon trading performance, cost pressures, and recent reports alleging mistreatment of staff, the company incurred losses which resulted in substantial liabilities being accrued.

“With significant financial pressure being faced by the firm, in early June 2022 the director resolved that the company was insolvent and should be wound up voluntarily. They instructed Blair Nimmo and Geoff Jacobs to convene the necessary meeting of members and to assist with the creditors’ decision to place it into liquidation.

“It is understood that a transfer of certain assets took place in May; accordingly, with no available funding and certain of the company assets having been sold, regrettably there was no option but to make all of the company 63 staff redundant. ”

Blair Nimmo, chief executive of Interpath Advisory and joint liquidator, said: “This is, unfortunately, a further example of a business within the hospitality and leisure sector being unable to withstand ongoing testing trading conditions, as the re-emergence from Covid-related restrictions continue against a backdrop of accumulated debt. ”

Geoff Jacobs, managing director of Interpath Advisory and joint liquidator, added: “” Our immediate priority will be to assist employees with their claims for any redundancy payments owed, as well as safeguarding any remaining company assets. ”

The company parted ways with graphic designer Richard Davies, who ran the Abandon Ship bars. He is now running Luchador in Glasgow’s Southside.

HMRC filed a winding-up petition at Dundee Sheriff Court on May 27.

That request was made by the Advocate General for Scotland on behalf of HMRC.

A posting on The Gazette, the UK Government’s official journal of record, notes that HMRC requests Macmerry300 Ltd “be wound up by the Court and appoint a liquidator”.

Although the liquidators have said that 63 staff will be made redundant, Belford Ltd has told Unite that it will be re-employing the employees.

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