March 26, 2020 / 8:45 AM / 13 days ago

Finnish restaurant operator NoHo seeks funding amid shutdown

HELSINKI, March 26 (Reuters) - Finnish restaurant operator NoHo Partners is looking to raise more than 30 million euros ($33 million) from its backers as the government decided to close restaurants in the country to contain coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.

NoHo, which operates some 250 restaurants, cafes and nightclubs in Finland, Denmark and Norway, said the government’s decision on Tuesday to shut restaurants except for takeaway sales would hit it hard.

“The order by the Finnish government to close all restaurants will reduce the company’s restaurants’ turnover to nearly zero until the end of June,” the company said in a statement.

NoHo shares fell as much as 10% on Thursday, making them the biggest loser on the Helsinki stock exchange, and have slumped more than 70% from their 2020 high in February. The shares were 4.7% lower at 0830 GMT.

Noho Partners said it was in funding negotiations with its current investors regarding a package worth more than 30 million euros to help it through the pandemic in its main markets of Finland, Denmark and Norway.

In 2019, the company had turnover of 272.8 million euros with earnings before interest and tax of 30.6 million. It employed some 2,100 people, when converted into full-time workers. ($1 = 0.9151 euros) (Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by David Clarke)

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