Prospective bidders for the assets of collapsed foodservice chain Hotcha have until 5pm this evening to submit their offers to administrators.
The portfolio of assets comprises leasehold properties, intellectual property and commercial catering equipment, including refrigerators, freezers, wok burners, fryers and ice cream makers.
Its entire leasehold head office premises are also up for sale, containing a commercial kitchen that it used to supply its network of sites.
Out of the 19 fully licensed leasehold takeaway outlets that are on the market, 14 are fully equipped with high quality commercial catering equipment, including 5-burner woks.
Administrators for the company said that parties whose offer is accepted should be prepared to complete the acquisition by Friday 10 November, subject to the landlords’ consent to the assignment of the leasehold interests and proof of funding.
A sales information brochure containing a full breakdown of each site’s performance shows that the 14 existing trading sites made a total sales of £2.5m for the year to date, compared with £2.81 for full-year 2016.
The largest site by revenue is Hotcha’s store in Swindon, which took more than £292,000 this year prior to its closure and £390,000 last year. Its Bath store ran it close with sales of nearly £265,000 this year and £380,000 last year.
Hotcha was forced to call in administrators from Moorfields Advisory Limited earlier this month after it was linked to a £35m money laundering investigation by the HMRC. Seven men and three women were interviewed as part of the probe and have been released under investigation.
Hotcha was founded six years ago and operated a Chinese takeaway chain predominantly based in the south west of England. Its strategy was to develop a national chain of Chinese takeaways and it initially developed its presence by acquiring outlets in the M4 corridor with an ambition to grow the portfolio nationally.
In order to support its growth ambitions, the company acquired head office premises in Bristol which acted as a warehouse, central kitchen and group administration function.
The central hub was designed to cut costs by preparing food in the central production facility before sending it out to be cooked on-site in the retail outlets and is capable of supporting a national chain of up to 75 outlets.
Assets at the central hub include vans, a fork lift truck, a crane, freezer units and the commercial kitchen. Various frozen and tinned stocks are also available.
The company employed 145 employees but all were made redundant by the administrators on October 20.