Stonegate Pub Company has announced a re-strengthening of its estate with the acquisition of 15 sites formerly operated by the Maclay Group, the Scotland-based pub, bar and hotel operator, which was placed into administration earlier this year.
The company said the acquisition was the first major purchase for the business following the disposal of a number of sites over the past two years.
The c620-strong group said the funds from those disposals had been reinvested into the purchase of the 15 sites, which were placed on the market in March with a combined asking price of £11.7m. Individual guide prices ranged from £175k to £1.35m.
The company said the new sites, which comprise 13 freeholds and two leaseholds, were situated in prime locations across Scotland, including St Andrews, Glasgow's West End and Edinburgh University district.
Stonegate, which is being tipped as an IPO candidate, currently operates c25 sites in Scotland.
The deal for the 15 sites exchanged late on Friday (5 June), with completion expected in early July.
Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom said: "The prudent reviewing and planning of our estate has enabled Stonegate to invest in a high quality, predominantly freehold business that further strengthens our portfolio within Scotland. We look forward to welcoming the teams in situ into the Stonegate family.”
It is thought that a number of sites will be merged into the group’s 410-strong traditional pubs estate, while a handful will be converted to its brands such as Slug & Lettuce and Missoula.
In summer 2013, the TDR Capital-backed group acquired the 11-strong Living Room brand, with the majority now converted or in line to be converted to its existing formats.
The Maclay Group was placed into administration in January after the company’s directors admitted failing to find a “strategic solution to the financial pressures facing the business”.
Administrators EY (Ernst & Young) continued to trade the then Steve Mallon-led business, which employs 500 staff and operates 15 pubs, bars and hotels across Scotland, with a view to a sale. It said at the time of appointment that the “underlying business is strong”.
C P Dempster and G D Yuill of Ernst and Young LLP, the joint administrators of Maclay Group PLC and Maclay Inns Limited, appointed CDLH to the company’s 15 sites in March.