BLP to rescue steak house from collapse

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has been called in to save the Aberdeen Steak House Group from insolvency after a series of disasters forced the company to file for administration.
The company, which is traditionally favoured by UK tourists, trades through 21 outlets in Central London under the Aberdeen Steak House, Angus Steak House and American Café Burger brand names.
Following the outbreak of BSE, the Foot-and-Mouth crisis and falling tourist numbers after 11 September, the company has fallen into the red after recording a profit of £330,000 in 1999.
BLP, led by David Leibowitz, head of the firm's corporate recovery group, won the mandate through its strong relationship with accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward, which was appointed as the administrators to the Aberdeen Steak House Group.
The firm's corporate recovery team has previously advised BDO Stoy Hayward on similar administrations involving The City (Europe) plc and Alpha Accident Management Group.
It is understood that City-based firm Park Nelson has previously advised Aberdeen Steak House. However, it is not clear whether the firm is acting for the company through the administrative proceedings.
At present the company will continue to trade after the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the banker to the Aberdeen Steak House Group, decided against appointing administrative receivers.
BLP will continue to be heavily involved throughout an investigation by Shay Bannon and Ray Hocking at BDO, who are the joint administrators to the company, as they look into the possibility of restructuring, refinancing or selling off the business.
While BLP became involved in the deal though BDO, the firm also has links with RBS as Alexandra Wheeler, an associate at BLP who is also involved on the deal, has worked on secondment at RBS.
The firm is perhaps better known for the plethora of property deals it has acted on for the bank, including the principal financing of 12 hotels as part of the acquisition of Meridien Hotels by Nomura International's Principal Finance Group and the purchase and leaseback of 11 Hilton Hotels by RBS from the Hilton Group for £312m.