Acquisitive hospitality company Provincial Hotels and Inns has made its first step on the way to its stated aim of becoming a national chain, following the purchase of nine pubs and two hotels from Mitchells of Lancaster.
Provincial is a new player in the hospitality sector, launched by hospitality management firm Onecall Hospitality with backing from private investors. The company is planning a series of further acquisitions over the next 18 months.
The properties, all of which are in Lancashire, include the County hotel in Carnforth, the Clarendon hotel in Morecambe and the Windmill Tavern at Salwick. The firm's aim is to offer two types of hostelry: "proper pubs" serving craft beers and a selection of "English bar tapas" and nibbles; and family-oriented venues based on "quality, value for money dining with exclusive table wines, coffee lounge and play areas". The hotels will be geared towards local demand, the company said.
Mark Chambers (pictured), provincial director of Onecall Hospitality, said: "Our aim is to take iconic but underperforming venues and breathe new life into them. Through a programme of refurbishment and restyling, and using our expertise in hospitality management, we will place them once again at the heart of their communities.
The portfolio comprises a mix of managed and tenanted properties.
The disposal by Mitchell's is part of its strategy to focus on brewing and to grow its pub estate outside Lancashire. The company will retain the remaining 38 properties within its portfolio.
Alasdair Rudge of CBRE acted as property adviser for the sale. London-based broker Steve Shelley helped to secure the equity funding. Martyn Rickels of FRP Advisory in Manchester advised on debt finance, which was arranged by David Edwards at HSBC in Manchester.
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