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Hotbed lines up further No Saints investment

Hotbed, the UK-based private investor syndicator, is conducting a GBP2.1 million further fund-raising for the new leisure industry business No Saints. No Saints was launched last year by Stephen Thomas, the founder of Luminar Plc, and is chaired by Mike Balfour, the founder of Fitness First. 

The fundraising follows a successful rights issue that raised GBP1.8 million from current shareholders, and coincides with the opening of No Saints’ fifth venue and the first of its new concepts, ‘The Greene Room’ in Milton Keynes.
In May 2010, Hotbed investor members provided No Saints with GBP3 million of funding alongside a substantial management investment. The funding has enabled No Saints to acquire four sites with established trading. These include the Jam House, the live music venue developed with Jools Holland, whose Edinburgh branch was the venue for Alex Salmond’s victory party in the recent Holyrood elections.
The acquisition of venues with established successful trading is providing a revenue stream that has enabled No Saints to deliver profitability earlier than expected.
No Saints anticipate that the next venue to open will be a Chicago Pizza Pie Factory in Bristol. This will be a radical re-launch of a familiar 1980s brand, offering a more entertaining experience for families by day and sophisticated atmosphere at night. 
Russell Pope, Chief Investment Officer at Hotbed, says: “Stephen Thomas has fantastic experience in the leisure industry. That experience is already paying dividends in ensuring that No Saints can acquire venues at particularly favourable rents because landlords have the confidence that they will be long-term, stable tenants.
“As a result, No Saints is making good progress in its roll-out. Existing investors have been keen to take advantage of the rights issue, and we are pleased to be able to offer more investor members the opportunity to get involved in an attractive sector in which, traditionally, good concepts often get snapped up quickly by the major players.

“The traditional nightlife scene is growing up. Mass drinking venues may be suffering but there is still unmet demand, especially amongst a slightly older age group, for nights out that offer a sense of occasion and fill the gap that exists outside London between bar and nightclub.
“While other operators are tied up by existing leases and still repairing the financial damage caused by the recession, No Saints is able to move quickly to find the best venues for this audience at depressed prices and invest in getting the right mix of entertainment, food and drink to draw them in.”
In addition to the Greene Room, Jam House and Chicago Pizza Pie Factory, No Saints proposes to open venues catering for both live and recorded music with a flexible format that will reduce the number of non-trading nights. The company is also exploring opportunities to acquire smaller night clubs better suited towards the current trend for reduced footfall but a stable spend per head.

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