Stonegate snaps up Sports Bar & Grill chain

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

A first: Stonegate CEO Simon Longbottom has long coveted outlets in transport hubs
A first: Stonegate CEO Simon Longbottom has long coveted outlets in transport hubs

Related tags Sports bar London

Stonegate Pub Company has strengthened its property portfolio in the capital through the acquisition of the Sports Bar & Grill concept, bringing its estate up to 703 sites.

The buyout places Stonegate, which owns pub chains including the Slug & Lettuce, in London transport hubs for the first time.

According to The Morning Advertiser’s ​sister title MCA​, which broke the news yesterday (14 September), the sites located in Waterloo, Marylebone, Victoria, Farringdon and Canary Wharf, will remain branded as Sports Bar & Grill.

Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom said: “This is another excellent bolt-on acquisition for Stonegate which is right in our sweetspot and further consolidates our leading credentials in sports-led entertainment.

‘Key transport hubs’

“We have long coveted a presence in key transport hubs and are excited about the opportunity which this presents.”

He continued: “We have a proven track record of success in identifying, unlocking value and ultimately delivering higher returns from the pub assets which we acquire, as well as investing in the people within them.

“We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues into the enlarged group and providing our new customers – sports fans, families and commuters alike with some great Stonegate hospitality.”

David Evans, who placed the chain on the market last year, after it was withdrawn in 2015 when talks with JD Wetherspoon ended, currently leads the concept.

JDW’s chairman Tim Martin confirmed interest in the concept in 2015 and said a bid had been accepted by Sports Bar & Grill’s parent company Bar Holdings.

However, Martin decided to pull out of the process following further inspection of the sites, leases and licences.

String of acquisitions

Stonegate’s buyout of the Sports Bar & Grill concept is the latest in a string of acquisitions.

Earlier this year it was revealed the company made a conditional proposal of £100m to acquire​ the Revolution Bars Group.

In July the company acquired a Punch pub​ in Kent, which would also receive £400,000 of investment.

And at the start of the year a series of London venues were acquired​ from Faucet Inn. The three pubs – the Catcher in the Rye, Finchley, north London; the College Arms, Fitzrovia, central London; and Comptons, Soho, central London – were bought for an undisclosed sum.

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