by The PMA Team
Private equity company Alchemy plans to invest £8m in the 178 pubs and bars it acquired from Spirit Group this week.
Alchemy, which has named its new bar company Tattershall Castle, wants to use its acquisition as a platform for consolidation.
Former InnSpired chief executive Peter Brook will be running the company, which now owns brands such as Henry's and Squares.
Brook said: 'We plan to spend £8m in the first year on capital improvement schemes. We also want to build on the business and we are after more premises.
Alchemy, which sold InnSpired to Punch last year, has also been named as the private equity buyer in talks to take Revolution bar operator Invent-ive private.
It is also looking at bidding for Jersey-based CI Traders. Alchemy has been an active participant in a number of auctions for pub company assets this year, taking a look at SFI Group for example.
Of the sale, Karen Jones, chief executive of Spirit said: 'We are very pleased to have brought this process to a successful conclusion. Our City Day and Night pubs are great assets and I am sure that they will prosper under Alchemy.
'This deal allows Spirit to focus on our core community and food-led pubs, which, as demonstrated by our trading figures, continue to gain real momentum. Spirit is fully focused on trading and there is a great deal more to go for.
The sale of Spirit's high street pubs comes as the company revealed sales were up 2.3% in the fourth quarter in its 1,076 borrower pubs against which it issued £1.25bn of bonds in November.
Food sales were up 6.5% while wet sales rose 1.7% against tough 2004 comparatives.
Jones has insisted that all options, including a flotation, are still on the table despite an offer for the company from Punch Taverns.