The trio of Ecobank International, Bank of Industry and IFC may have taken or have to take a provision on over N2 billion loans due from Tantalizers. Tantalizers is one of Nigeria’s largest quick service restaurant chains.
According to data from the company’s 2017 half-year results, Tantalizers owe the banks as follows; Ecobank – N463 million, Bank of Industry – N163 million and the IFC – N864 million.
Tantalizers has had its fair share of financial troubles over the last few years reporting a combined loss of about N3.3 billion in the last 5 years. In fact, Tantalizers has reported a loss in the last 5 years of operations and is in line to report another loss in 2017.
At a negative retained earnings of N3.9 billion and a fast eroding share capital (now N362 million from N3.3 billion five years ago), it is likely that Tantalizers may have negative equity by the end of the year.
The company’s cash flows have also taken a huge hit as it spends every N1 it earns on paying employees and suppliers. The company also reports it owes its suppliers a net amount of N1 billion.
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Tantalizers also reported its net current assets stands at a negative of N2.9 billion and liquidity ratio of 0.19. A company is said to be financial viable if it has a liquidity ratio of 1 and above and in a technical state of insolvency if its liquidity ratio is less than 1. For a QSR business, a liquidity ratio of less than one (not to talk of 0.19) is a sign of distress.
A trio of negative equity, negative net current assets and long-term “unpaid “debt is a recipe for liquidation, if not addressed as soon as possible.
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What can be done
Tantalizers requires an urgent injection of capital to avoid being taken over by its lenders. Luckily, it has the likes of BOI and IFC as lenders, both of whom have the financial muscle to restructure the loans and possibly converting same into equity to give the company a lifeline.
A look back at their past annual report shows they had already repaid a GT Bank loan which may have caused them some troubles had it not been paid down.
The company may also continue to sell down some of its assets to raise funds for working capital requirements. It has sold assets over the years to do just this but may continue to do so in the short to medium term.
The stakeholders in the company may also need to face the hard truth of exiting its management and board to allow for fresh thinking and major overhauling of its business model and general operations.
The company makes money from Outlet sales, Franchising, rent and advertising with all segments reporting flat revenues growth in the first half of 2017. Increased competition in this space, by more nimble, service oriented competitors suggest their market share will continue to drop in the coming months. Most Tantalizers outlets are old and have not had a major refurbishment in years, pushing away customers to better looking outlets managed by competitors.
The company will also need to cut its operating expenses, reduce payroll cost and interest if it is to have any glimpse of operating profit in the near future.