NewRiver completes Hawthorn Leisure integration

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Smooth integration: NewRiver confirmed it had acquired Hawthorn Leisure for £106.8m last year
Smooth integration: NewRiver confirmed it had acquired Hawthorn Leisure for £106.8m last year
Retail estate investment business NewRiver has announced it has finished the integration of the Hawthorn Leisure pub and leisure business, eight months after its acquisition.

The integration includes all IT, finance and HR systems and all of NewRiver’s 671 community pubs (more than one fifth of its portfolio by value) are now managed by the Hawthorn Leisure platform.

NewRiver confirmed it had acquired the 298-strong Hawthorn Leisure for £106.8m​ in May 2018. The deal represented a net yield based on the value of the pub portfolio of 13.6% and is funded by existing resources.

Because c100 pubs are in Scotland and a further 54 are managed or under an operator agreement, the combined portfolio will not come under the pubs code.

Significant milestone

Hawthorn Leisure traded well in the most recent reporting quarter, with like-for-like earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) per pub up 0.8% in the third quarter and up 4.3% in the two weeks to December 2018.

NewRiver announced almost a quarter (22%) its total portfolio were pubs​ earlier this year (January).

NewRiver chief financial officer Mark Davies continues to chair Hawthorn Leisure with Gerry Carroll as chief executive.

Davies said: “I am delighted we have reached this significant milestone in our community pubs business.”

Entire portfolio

He added: “The integration of Hawthorn Leisure and transfer of all our community pubs to its management platform will being immediate benefits in terms of synergies, greater operational insight and the sharing of expertise and best practice throughout our entire portfolio.”

Carroll welcomed the integration and looked forward to the future of NewRiver and Hawthorn Leisure.

He added: “I am very pleased to have completed this important integration and would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new pub partners joining us as a result.

“With a strong set of shared values and a highly passionate, experienced and hard-working team, I am confident Hawthorn Leisure will continue to grow as a fully integrated part of NewRiver.”

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