Uvenco is acquired
Mark Stone: Who'll play him in the movie?

The Russians Are Going! Uvenco Is Acquired By The Montagu Group

Uvenco is acquired by the Montagu Group: It was on 2 October 2013 that Planet Vending heralded the arrival of Uvenco to these shores under the banner, ‘The Russians Are Coming’. Now that the adventure has come to its conclusion, after less than five years, what better headline than, ‘The Russians Are Going’?

Uvenco is acquired
Happier Days: Uvenco At The AVA Christmas ‘do’, 2014

Planet Vending’s archive of Uvenco stories over that short period doesn’t provide chapter and verse but it is an interesting insight into strategy, tactics; ambition and achievement.

Uvenco Is Acquired: Archive

Access our Uvenco / SnackTime archive, consisting of 22 stories that trace the milestones of the Russian’s journey in the UK HERE

Uvenco is acquired
Happier days: Vendies winners, Dave Bryant and Lisa Blythe

Meanwhile, as something of an epilogue, we publish what may turn out to be the final official communication from Uvenco:

Appointment of Administrators at Trading Subsidiaries and Sale of Assets

Further to its announcement on 24 May 2018, the Company notifies that Howard Smith and David Costley-Wood of KPMG LLP were today appointed as administrators to all three of the Company’s trading subsidiaries, Uvenco Limited, Snack in the Box Limited and Drinkmaster Limited (the “Trading Subsidiaries”). Immediately following their appointment, the administrators sold the entire business and assets, excluding book debts, of the Trading Subsidiaries to Montagu Group Limited, a fast growing, specialist vending solutions provider, for an aggregate consideration of £1.8 million in cash.  The sales completed today, and all of the employees of the Trading Subsidiaries were transferred across under TUPE. The administrators will apply the consideration in reduction of the Trading Subsidiaries’ creditors, subject to costs, but there will be no value remaining for the shareholders of the Company.

The disposals by the administrators comprise all the operating businesses of the Group. Following completion, the Company no longer has any current trading activities, has net debt of approximately £1.6 million, and will be an investing company pursuant to Rule 15 of the AIM Rules for Companies. The directors will continue to operate the affairs of the Company in the short-term and discussions are underway with the principal creditor to allow the Company to satisfy its obligations as they fall due. Whilst the directors remain hopeful of a satisfactory resolution to these discussions, in the event agreement cannot be reached then an administration of the Company would be likely, with no value for shareholders.

Suspension of trading on AIM

Trading on AIM in the Company’s ordinary shares will remain suspended pending clarification of its financial position.

One man has been a central figure in the story as Uvenco is acquired and that’s Mark Stone, (main picture). In June 2015 he spoke of his belief that SnackTime would be launched as the UK’s ‘third national company’ and just three years later, we believe he’s been a leading player in the Montagu Group’s acquisition of his former employer. We’ll be asking for an interview…

In other news, former SnackTime man, Ian Forde, with perhaps a soupçon of schadenfreude (that’s three languages in three words!), declared himself ‘happy’ at yesterday’s developments; whilst Johnny Broderick, possibly reflecting the views of the majority of the UK’s independent vending operators, told PV: ‘those that don’t move with the times get consumed.’

As Sir Alec Ferguson might have said had he been in this business: ‘Vending? Bloody hell!’.

About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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