Eclectic Bar Group completes £18m Brighton Pier acquisition
Luke Johnson's Eclectic Bar Group has completed a deal to acquire Brighton Pier for £18m.
News that AIM-listed Eclectic would buy the Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company emerged earlier this month.
The deal has been funded through a £13m debt financing deal with Barclays, and a rights issue of £8.5m.
Meanwhile, the company has been renamed the Brighton Pier Group PLC.
Brighton Pier attracts around 4.5 million visitors per year, making it the UK's fifth most popular destination by visitor numbers.
Speaking about the acquisition, Johnson said: "Brighton is one of the UK's most popular visitor destinations with over 10 million visitors per year, making it the most visited place in the South East. The pier itself is Britain's most popular attraction outside London."
He added that it "represents the next stage in the group's development, expanding the company's existing portfolio and using the enhanced board's diverse skillset to become a differentiated operator of leisure and entertainment assets".
Eclectic Bar Group, of which Johnson is executive chairman having invested £1.5m in the company last year, owns brands including Embargo Republica, Dirty Blonde, Lola Lo and Po Na Na.
Chairman of PizzaExpress during the 1990s, Johnson co-founded the Strada restaurant chain, and was chairman of Giraffe for nine years until it was sold to Tesco for £50m in 2013.
He currently chairs Bread Limited, the owner of the artisan bakery chain Gail's, and Patisserie Holdings. He is also part owner of Laine's Pub Company, Grand Union and Draft House.
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