FishWorks Restaurant chain asks the Stock Exchange to suspend trading in its shares Published: 09 January, 2009
THE credit crunch has started to bite into the top end of the seafood industry with the news the celebrated FishWorks Restaurant chain had asked the Stock Exchange to suspend trading in its shares.
FishWorks, which has ten restaurants mainly in London and Bristol, was founded in 1994 by celebrity chef Mitchell Tonks, who has since left the company and is now doing promotional work for Young’s Seafood including a new digital TV series on fish and how to cook it.
The company is listed on AIM, the alternative junior stock listing, has told investors it was continuing to experience challenging market conditions. It said it was asking the stock exchange to suspend trading in its shares “pending clarification of the company’s financial position and strategic options.”
It is now looking at alternatives, but there are worries that it may be forces to sell some or all of its restaurants, a few of which had traditional fishmongers shops attached to them..
Seafood restaurants at the upper end of the market have been badly hit by the economic downturn. Ironically, at the other end old fashioned fish and chip restaurants and takeaways are doing well in the recession because of their lower prices..
Last year the FishWorks business underwent a major restructuring to cut costs and improve margins. In November, the chairman Gary Ashworth sounded an optimistic note on the company’s future, claiming the business had the support of its bank and would be looking at opportunities to acquire additional restaurants.