A Berkshire pub at the centre of a legal dispute between Marco Pierre White and its former business partners has been put up for sale.
The owners, businessmen Andrew Parton and Peter Featherman, are looking for offers in excess of £1.65m for the freehold of the Yew Tree Inn in Highclere, near Newbury.
The dispute between the pair and White, which dates back to 2005, emerged in September last year.
White took a 30% stake in the pub and agreed to let it use his name and also used it as a venue to film his ITV cooking show, Marco’s Great British Feast, designing the menus and promoting the restaurant.
But White claimed he was subsequently frozen out of the investment after a share reorganisation in 2008 and alleged his former business partners refused to honour an agreement to allow him to subscribe for new shares representing nearly 40% of the company, according to a Daily Telegraph report. He is also claiming for the use of his name after the period which he claims the naming rights ran out. The claim is based on the usual fees White charges – a £50,000 initial fee plus 5% of turnover.
The pub no longer carries any branding related to Marco Pierre White and he is not thought to have any involvement with the business.
Specialist property agent Davis Coffer Lyons has been engaged to sell the freehold property.
Paul Tallentyre, director of the Davis Coffer Lyons Pubs team, said: “The building is in a beautiful countryside setting, close to Highclere Castle and full of charm and character in its design. The pub also includes eight boutique letting rooms, two separate dining areas, and extensive grounds which would provide admirable scenic surroundings for weddings and large functions. It even has its own private helipad.”
White was unavailable to comment on the sale.
By Neil Gerrard
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Published by: The Caterer