The pubs are among the 202 that Marston’s sold last year to NewRiver Retail Limited, a specialist REIT focused on the UK food and value retail sector, for £90m.
NewRiver has made a conditional agreement to lease the 54 sites to the Co-op on 15-year leases with no break clause and RPI-linked rent increases.
NewRiver said the majority will be new-build projects constructed on surplus land adjacent to the existing pubs. Most of the work is expected to take place within two years and will create 200,000 sq ft of new retail space.
NewRiver said: “The remaining part of the portfolio will be conventional conversions from public house use to c-stores, or redeveloped as standalone convenience retail stores. NewRiver will undertake all planning, development and contract requirements to deliver the end product to The Co-operative Group. It is expected that the majority of the completed assets will be delivered within two years.”
Under the terms of the sale of the 202 Marston’s pubs, the pub company agreed to manage the outlets for five years in return for a management fee. For the first four years Marston’s has provided a minimum income guarantee.
The package included 158 community pubs from Marston’s Taverns’ estate and 44 leased pubs.