THERE is significant interest from potential buyers in the assets of collapsed bar and restaurant chain Principle Leisure.
The Washington-based business went into administration earlier this month after being hit with a hefty tax bill.
Administrator Begbies Traynor is currently managing its affairs and will continuing to run it as a going concern until a sale can be agreed.
Its assets include two Popolos restaurants in Newcastle, one in Sheffield, San Lorenzo Italian restaurants in Gosforth and Cramlington, Fiume Italian restaurant in Washington, the River Bar in Washington, the Establishment Bar in Sunderland, Blackbird Bar in Ponteland and the Nottingham-based Saltwater bar and restaurant.
Andrew Haslam and Gerald Krasner of Begbies Traynor in Newcastle have been appointed as joint administrators at the company, which was formerly known as Aquaclear.
Haslam, who was appointed joint administrator on April 1, said: “There has been lots of interest in these outlets and we expect to be in a position to negotiate a sale in early May.”
Principle, which set up its first Popolo Bar in Newcastle six years ago, suffered cashflow difficulties because of the opening and refurbishment of several new outlets, and the downturn in the pub trade.
It was left with a “substantial” debt to the tax man and was further weakened by the death of director Joseph Peel, the administrator said.