Sourdough pizza and craft beer restaurant chain Three Joes has acquired the 14-site Stable group from Fuller's for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition of the Stable, which last year had a turnover of £14.6m, was privately funded by Three Joes shareholders.
The Stable was started in 2009 in Bridport by Richard and Nikki Cooper. Fuller's acquired a 51% stake in the then six-strong business in June 2014 for £7.3m. It subsequently acquired a further 24%, and then in June 2018 completed the acquisition of the remaining stake of the Stable, which by then had 17 sites.
Three Joes operates three restaurants in Winchester, Fareham and Sheffield and was founded by Tim Hall, who founded healthy fast food chain Pod, Peter Bruton, co-founder of Byron Hamburgers, and Emma Blackmore, who has worked as a food development consultant for Pod, ASK Italian, Zizzi and PizzaExpress.
Hall, chief executive of Three Joes, said: "We've been huge fans of the Stable since we launched Three Joes in 2017 and this acquisition represents a significant step forward for us. The Stable is five times our size and while we are all operating in uncertain times we are confident the business has a strong future.
"With sites located in harbours, beach fronts and market squares in the south west and on the coast, the opportunity to add these beautiful sites to our estate was too good to be true. We believe these are the ideal locations to expand Three Joes into while the country recovers from Covid and people choose to take holidays at home in the UK."
Bruton said: "We have spent three years crafting a successful operating model at Three Joes. We were beginning to disrupt the high street UK pizza chains with 40% like-for-revenue growth in Q1 2020 and we aim to transplant this trading success into these fantastic new sites as soon as we can safely reopen them in line with government advice."
Blackmore added: "Three Joes is about great value, innovative food for everybody and our customers love what we do. These beautiful new restaurants form the perfect backdrop for the fun, easy-going Three Joes experience, and I cannot wait to fire the ovens up on this thrilling expansion project."
Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny said: "The Stable is a fantastic brand and we are proud to have helped it grow. Three Joes is a company that knows pizza, has a similar ethos and culture, and has a management team we trust to look after the Stable. We wish Three Joes every success in taking the Stable on through the next chapter in its history."