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Crussh continues to operate from eight stores in London following a pre-pack rescue deal earlier this month

Food-to-go and juice bar group Crussh owed creditors more than £11m when it collapsed, according to a new report by administrators.

FRP Advisory sold the business in a pre-pack administration deal worth £640k, the document also showed.

The sale earlier this month to an investment group saved the jobs of 160 staff and kept eight of the 11 juice bar outlets open.

Crussh had struggled to rebuild sales after all its stores were forced to temporarily close during Covid lockdowns. It had pivoted to supplying food-to-go products to major retailers and wholesalers but continued to incur losses.

FRP’s report this week revealed about 175 unsecured creditors were owed £10.6m and HMRC a further £905k.

A significant proportion of the unsecured creditors were made up of KG Investco, a company connected to Crussh’s PE backer Hattington Capital, and founder James Learmond and other directors.

The administrator said it expected HMRC to receive a partial repayment, but unsecured creditors were likely to receive nothing.

Debt of £340k owed to a secured creditor was released in full as part of the pre-pack sale.

The FRP report also revealed the business was sold for a total of £640k to investment consortium Keep in Business Ltd, which is part owned by Tolladine Estate Ltd. The latter includes Crussh creditors Simon Waterfield and Ralph Congreve as shareholders, with the pair owed a combined more than £350k.

However, the majority shareholders in Keep in Business had no prior involvement with Crussh, the report added.

Revenues at Crussh had declined from £14.1m before the pandemic to just £3m in the year ended 31 March 2021, with losses extending from £1.5m to £1.9m year on year.

All its stores had significant rent arrears of about two years and the company had been trying to negotiate with landlord but “with limited success”, the FRP report said.

The report showed turnover did not recover fully in the 2021/22 financial year, hitting £9.2m, as the retail operation was hampered by the continued lower footfall of office workers in central London. However, the wholesale product supply side boosted sales from £2.2m to £6.1m in the year.

The outlook for the current 2022/23 financial year showed expected revenues of £11.3m, with retail sales of £4.1m, which is significantly down on the £13.5m generated pre-Covid, and wholesale of £7.1m.

Established in 1998 as an independent juice bar in London, Crussh expanded its reach and offering over the years, including striking a partnership with foodservice giant Sodexo and signing a franchise deal with food-to-go operator SSP Group.

It also supplied food-to-go products to the likes of Sainsbury’s, WH Smith and Ocado.

The eight remaining retail outlets across London sell a range of healthy on-the-go products such as oat pots, sandwiches and wraps, salad pots, and juices and smoothies.