North West brewer and pub operator JW Lees has acquired two ex-Mercury Inns pubs out of administration.
JW Lees bought the freeholds of the Red Lion in Hawkshaw and the Walton Arms in Accrington from BDO Stoy Hayward for an undisclosed sum.
Mercury, which ran 10 leasehold and freehold pubs, fell into administration in February. The two sites had been run by Quicksilver Management — the new name for Mercury' s management arm.
"It is sad picking up pubs from other company's failures but we are acquisitive and will continue to look to buy pubs if they are available at the right price," said JW Lees chief executive William Lees-Jones.
"The pubs have been under invested in for a while but they are run by good people. It is reassuring for the customers and staff that the pubs are now in safe hands."
JW Lees bought 10 pubs from Punch last year and has so far completed five refurbishments. "The Punch pubs are doing really well. Last week our existing pub sales were 10% above budget and the Punch pubs were 20% up on budget."
Lees-Jones said the brewer would take time to get to know and understand the pubs before deciding whether to continue running them as managed houses or move them over to tenanted pubs and to focus on key areas for investment.
A third ex-Mercury freehold — the Villa hotel in Wrea Green, Lancashire — has been bought by the Rigby family for £2.1m.