Barons says new Spirit lease model shows best of pubcos

By James Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Renting Lease

MD Clive Price said the company has allowed for steady growth over the next few years
MD Clive Price said the company has allowed for steady growth over the next few years
Clive Price, managing director of Surrey-based Barons Pub Company, has said his latest site with Spirit under a new style of leasehold proves pubco/tenant relationships can benefit both sides.

Barons opened its sixth site, its third with Spirit, in Blethcingley last week. The Bletchingley Arms is run under a turnover –based agreement where the tenant pays a base rent and an amount based on turnover, with wholesale prices for beer.

Price said he hoped the imminent takeover of Spirit by Greene King would not see these opportunities drying up.

He said: “This was a former Chef & Brewer site and the leased boys managed to wrestle it away from the managed division with certain operators in mind to take it on. We have a good relationship with Spirit from our other two pubs and we were delighted when they approached us about this.

“It means we’re not paying tied prices for beer so we can actually make some money from selling the stuff. The crucial thing is that it’s an agreement that means the success of the pub works for both sides. I think that’s something that over the last few years some of the big pubcos have forgotten about.”

'Steady growth'

Price said the company had built up the structure to allow for steady growth over the next few years, with leaseholds the target but a view to take on freeholds of their current pubs should they be offered.

He said: “We are in a good position. When we started out we were looking at a couple of years before a pub was trading at the level we wanted but now it’s a matter of months, which allows us to evolve the company faster.”

He said Barons would look beyond its Surrey heartland but for the moment felt there was further consolidation within the county.

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