Admiral Taverns has acquired a portfolio of 137 community pubs from rival Marston’s for £44.9m.
The deal, which is expected to complete by the end of November, is the latest by Admiral to be supported by investors Proprium Capital Partners and C&C Group following the acquisition last month of 150 pubs from Star Pubs & Bars.
The 137 small leased, tenanted and franchised pubs contributed earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £4.8m and operating profit of £3.7m for the year to 28 September 2019. They have a book value of £62.6m. Their disposal is said to be “in line with Marston’s plans to reduce its debt in part through the disposal of certain non-core assets”.
Admiral Taverns said it had formed “a partnership” with experienced managed-operator Helen Standing “to facilitate the smooth transition of these pubs to the Admiral platform whilst the group evaluates the longer-term opportunities for these sites”.
Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral Taverns (pictured above), described the acquisition as “exciting for the business" and said: “We remain fully committed to the leased and tenanted model and through this acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs which we look forward to developing through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.
“I’m also very pleased that Helen Standing has agreed to partner with us to support the wider integration programme for some of these pubs. Helen is a highly successful, experienced operator who is well known to our team and we are looking forward to working very closely with her and these pubs.”
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s (pictured), added: “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200m by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets.
“We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted. This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70m disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year.”
Marston’s portfolio includes 1,537 pubs and beer brands Hobgoblin, Young’s, Bombardier, Lancaster Bomber, Wychwood, Ringwood, Brakspear and Courage.
Admiral Taverns’ estate comprises around 800 pubs.