Joint venture between Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining unveiled

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Winning combo: Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining join forces
Winning combo: Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining join forces

Related tags: Buckinghamshire, Milton keynes

Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining have signed heads of terms to run a combination of the Little Gems and Charles Wells’ Apostrophe Pubs.

The  deal will see Charles Wells taking a stake in Little Gems.

Little Gems Country Dining, run by Steve Wilkins and Rachel Slater, runs the Park in Bedford, the Swan Inn in Milton Keynes Village, the Swan Inn in Denham, the Old Queen’s Head in Penn and the Chequers in Houghton Conquest.

Charles Wells’ Apostrophe Pub estate comprises the d’Parys Hotel in Bedford, the Merlin’s Cave in Chalfont St Giles, Cox’s Yard in Stratford upon Avon and the Bull in Olney, which will be opening in early 2018.

Enormous experience

Charles Wells chief executive Justin Phillimore said: “I am really looking forward to working with Steve and Rachel. They bring with them enormous experience of growing and expanding successful food led businesses and I believe now is a great time for us to team up as I see the next couple of years will give rise to many good investment opportunities.”

Wilkins said: “Whilst it will be business as usual for our Little Gems, this is a really exciting opportunity for all of us. This partnership will not only open up new avenues for growth but also for the sharing of best practice, the pooling of skills, and will help ensure the future success across the board, both for Little Gems & Apostrophe Pubs.”

Charles Wells sold its brewing business to Marston’s in May for £55m and has committed to strengthen its managed house estate, although also intends to build a new smaller scale brewery.

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