London-based private equity firm Zetland Capital has secured a £40m loan to acquire and expand the Portobello Starboard pubs portfolio.
The group is made up of 17 freehold pubs located across London villages and suburbs and the south coast. Zetland plans to further expand the business through acquisitions across London and the south of England, starting with five, including three in Brighton.
The portfolio includes the flagship Westow House in Crystal Palace (pictured), which has recently added 22 bedrooms, along with Effra Social in Brixton and Pratts & Payne in Streatham.
Mark Crowther, executive chairman of Portobello Starboard, said: "We are delighted to have completed this acquisition and to partner with Zetland Capital. Zetland's backing will enable us to invest in these great pubs and our fantastic teams, supporting the recovery and to acquire further pubs in the South of England.
"Given the challenges pubs have faced over the last two years, there aren't many lenders who would consider supporting the sector at the moment. However, through looking at the portfolio's past performance, as well as taking a forward-look view of its future potential, OakNorth Bank was able to put together a facility which will keep these pubs thriving and enable us to further expand the portfolio."
Deepesh Thakrar, senior director of debt finance at OakNorth Bank, which provided the loan, said: "At OakNorth Bank, we don't take a broad-brush approach when it comes to analysing a business. Even in challenged sectors, there will always be strong businesses, so we see this is as a good opportunity to support a strong sponsor with a portfolio of pubs in good locations, run by a well-regarded operator."
Westfort Advisors advised Zetland Capital on the transaction.