Scottish hospitality operator Bruce Group is raising £20m through a bond issue to fund expansion through acquisitions.
Kevan Fullerton and Scott Piatkowski founded Bruce Group Scotland 20 years ago and now has a portfolio of 19 pubs in and around Edinburgh including the Royal Mile Tavern (pictured), the George IV bar, and Drummonds hotel in Markinch, Fife.
Fullerton said the three-year bond will enable the group to fund the acquisition of multiple pubs in a short time, both within the group’s existing market and further afield.
He said: “We are not building a chain of identikit pubs but a diverse array of pubs with individual character and local appeal which will benefit from our extensive management experience and financial backing to produce a quality product that will have long term appeal. We are not interested in niche ventures, in boutique outlets, or stylised pubs. These have their place, but we are looking at creating the pub of the future from the traditions of the past.
“We believe that the pub market currently offers excellent potential for growth and profitability and we have the scale, expertise, and knowledge of the market to expand substantially in a relatively short timescale.”
The group said it has seen a 50% increase in turnover and a 30% rise in profits over the last six months, with some pubs recording a 40% increase in turnover over the last year.
“We think that our model will produce a profitable pub group which, although centrally owned and operated, retains the individual identity and character of each pub. We are not creating a chain, we are building a group of individual pubs which nonetheless benefit from experienced management, strong financial backing, and the cost savings which a large group can command,” added Fullerton.