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News - 27 April 2003
Po Na Na Unlikely to Proceed
The terms and conditions imposed on the Po Na Na application (see KnowledgeBase for previous story) and the increasing financial problems faced by the group suggest that they will probably pass on their Brighton unit to another operator with deeper pockets.
The group is in talks with bankers to try to head off a growing financial crisis as its 43 nationwide outlets struggle to cope with tough times in the sector generally. They have sold or closed 14 outlets since 2002 and are trying to find a buyer for a further 10 and a further three could be added to that list. The last financial report in the autumn of 2002 showed a loss of over £230,000 and debts totalling £7.7m and the club operator will almost certainly be showing a loss at their year end (31st March) when results are published.
Although the stringent conditions placed on the licence could be carried by an operator that was trading well it seems unlikely that Po Na Na will be able to take that gamble and the prospect of passing on the unit grows increasingly likely. The conditions will still apply to any new operator
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