Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Seven Botanic Inns bars saved by new buyer

Sold: Belfast's Botanic Inn
Sold: Botanic Inns grew into Northern Ireland's biggest chain on the strength of its original pub, The Bot, on Belfast's Malone Road

Seven of the bars owned by Botanic Inns - Northern Ireland's biggest pub chain - have been sold.

The beleaguered company went into administration last week, leaving 600 jobs at risk across 14 pubs, hotels and restaurants in and around Belfast.

Administrators KPMG has said 300 jobs will be transferred to the new owners.

It has not been announced who the new buyer is - but they have bought the Botanic Inn, Horatio Todds,  Madisons Hotel, the Kings Head, the Northern Whig, the Elms and the Fly.

The new group has been called The Horatio Group - and it also includes off licence Dr:nk.

KMPG is still running the seven other bars - The Apartment, The Kitchen Bar, McHugh's, The Parador, Molly Browns, Denvirs and Ryan's.

Joint administrators John Hansen and Stuart Irwin said they were confident they would sell them "in due course" and secure the jobs of the remaining 300 employees.

Staff at The Bot tweeted in response to the announcement: "Remember last week when you all wanted to #savethebot? Well it worked! We're no longer under administration."

Originally a family-owned company, Botanic Inns had been trading since 1857 through its first outlet and flagship brand, the Botanic Inn.

It grew into Northern Ireland's biggest chain under former owner Jaz Mooney.

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