bargain booze

The Bargain Booze and Matthew Clark owner’s shares plunged last week after a shock profit warning

Conviviality has called in PwC, after it emerged the ailing booze giant owed an unexpected £30m payment to HMRC due at the end of March. 

After suspending its shares on AIM this morning, the company said it had ”engaged PwC to assist it in its forthcoming discussions with HM Revenue & Customs and its key stakeholders including its lending banks, credit insurers, suppliers and other creditors” having ”identified a payment due to HM Revenue & Customs of approximately £30m which falls due for payment on 29 March 2018 and which has not been accrued for within its short term cash flow projections.

The £30m bill had ”created a short term funding requirement”, it said. “The Company’s announcement on 13 March 2018 confirmed an expected range of adjusted EBITDA of between £55.3 million and £56.4 million. To the extent that the current situation creates operational difficulties, this may negatively impact the adjusted EBITDA range.”

However, it stressed the company was “currently in compliance with its banking covenants” and that “following preliminary advice from PwC, whilst there can be no guarantee, the board believes this short term funding requirement will be satisfactorily resolved”. 

It’s the latest development in a week of turmoil for the Bargain Booze and Matthew Clark owner, whose shares plummeted by some two-thirds at the tail end of last week after it warned of a “material error” in its financial forecasting which meant earnings would be roughly 20% less than expected. So far more than £350m has been wiped from the company’s value.

Read more: ”Arithmetic error” to blame for wiping £365m from Conviviality