76 Star Pubs & Bars sites sold to NewRiver

By James Wallin, MCA

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs package: NewRiver has bought 76 sites from Heineken
Pubs package: NewRiver has bought 76 sites from Heineken
NewRiver has confirmed to The Morning Advertiser's sister title MCA that it has acquired 76 sites from Star Pubs & Bars, taking its Hawthorn Leisure pub arm to over 700.

The deal to acquire the package, which is spread across the UK and thought to be worth c£12m, was completed yesterday​ (5 December).

Mark Davies, chairman of Hawthorn and chief financial officer of NewRiver, said the package complemented its existing tenanted estate well.

He said: “We have made good progress with the synergies from the Hawthorn deal and felt we had the headroom to take on a portfolio of this size. We have established ourselves as a credible buyer of pubs and we are now receiving a lot of approaches.”

Parent company NewRiver

NewRiver completed the acquisition of Hawthorn Leisure in May and Davies told MCA​ its management skills are already being integrated into the shopping centre portfolio of parent company NewRiver.

Davies said last month that Hawthorn had taken over the food court of The Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield.

He said the strategy, which sees the menu from Hawthorn’s Last Orders managed model integrated into the food court offer, could be replicated across NewRiver’s retail portfolio, valued at c£1bn.

He said Hawthorn’s operator agreement model could also be rolled out across the legacy NewRiver pub estate, which incorporates c320 pubs.

Fully complete

He said once the integration was fully complete, at the end of January 2019, the company would evaluate the potential of the brands under the Hawthorn umbrella.

Meanwhile, as also reported by MCA​, a handful of investment funds are believed to be through to the second round of bidding for Ei Group’s c350-strong commercial property division, which are understood to have a book value of c£340m.

It is believed that investment funds Ares Capital, Fortress Investment Group and Davidson Kempner are among the handful of firms in the bidding for the portfolio, which includes pubs operated by White Brasseries, Food & Fuel and Brunning & Price.

The full story can be read on MCA ​here​.

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