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Luminar goes into administration but the party goes on at Kingston’s Oceana

By River Reporter Nov 24, 2011

By Jamila Soso-Vincent

Administrators are looking to sell Oceana after its parent company suffered huge financial losses, but students can rest easy as it will remain open.

Oceana escaped closure when its owners, Luminar Group Holdings plc, was forced into administration after it suffered huge losses in the last financial year.

Adam Holden, the media relations manager at the administration firm Ernst & Young, said: “It’s business as usual. Oceana remains open, and the administrators are seeking to find a buyer for the clubs.”

The company is said to have losses of £198m due to a staggering 19 per cent drop in sales to £137m. However, there is still hope for the nightclub giant.

Joint administrator Alan Hudson added: “While it has been necessary to seek the protection of an administration order, we have already received a number of enquiries from interested parties.”

An Oceana employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the £8.5 million night club is one of the company’s biggest earners, and is unlikely to be closed any time soon.

“Oceana Kingston can take around £40,000 on a busy night, which is usually Friday or Saturday. It takes far too much money to close,” he said.
Although he was unsure of any specific changes, if any, that might be made at the 2,500 capacity nightclub; he doubted that “wholesale changes” at Luminar would affect clubbers in Kingston.

Eleven of Luminar’s 75 UK nightclubs have already been shut down, resulting in an estimated 300 redundancies. This includes the Northampton night club where, earlier last month, a stampede at closing time led to the deaths of two females.

The company also closed its nightclubs in Wigan, Brighton, Bury St. Edmunds, Basingstoke, Hemel Hempstead, Swindon, Mansfield, Redditch, High Wycombe and Sunderland.

Luminar, Britain’s biggest night club operator went into administration on Thursday, October 27 after its banks refused to extend loan facilities.

“The night club and bar sector is an extremely challenging and competitive sector,” said Mr Hudson.
“Luminar has struggled against a backdrop of increased competition and reduced disposable income from its customer base.”

Administration is a process that freezes businesses’ assets to protect them from having multiple debtors collecting at once.

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