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Conviviality turned down 11th-hour rescue

Collapsed retailer Conviviality rejected an 11th-hour rescue deal that would have secured the final ?18m needed to save the Bargain Booze owner, an investor has revealed.
Crystal Amber, the Aim-listed activist investor, made a written offer to the company to help complete Conviviality’s ?125m fund-raise in the days leading up to its collapse, but was rebuffed by the firm’s management.
After an initial scramble to secure funding fell short of its target, Crystal Amber made the rescue bid on the condition that it and other new investors offering to back a turnaround effort would have the option of buying more shares in future at a discount.
“They raised ?107m at 5p a share but needed ?125m,” fund head Richard Bernstein told The Daily Telegraph.
“We said we’ll do the other ?18m but we want warrants and we think all the new shareholders should also get warrants to get in at below 5p to compensate us all for the lack of existing credible management.”
Conviviality turned down 11th-hour rescue

Crystal Amber fund manager Richard Bernstein said his fund could have prevented the firm's collapse

Credit:
David Rose
Conviviality plunged into administration earlier this year after rejecting the deal from Crystal Amber, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Boss Diana Hunter had fallen on her sword days earlier after stewarding the firm through two profit warnings.
A representative from Conviviality was unavailable to respond to a request for comment.
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