The nationwide portfolio is made up of a combination of predominantly tenanted, leased and retail-agreement site across England and Wales.
The deal was announced less than a month ago (4 November) at a price of £44.9m. This disposal is in line with Marston’s plans to slash its debt of £200m by 2023 in part through the removal of certain non-core assets.
At the time, Marston’s chief executive officer Ralph Findlay said: “We are encouraged by the level of market interest this portfolio of pubs has attracted.
“We remain focused on our stated objective of reducing our net debt by £200m by 2023 or earlier, and thereafter operating a high-quality business generating consistent net cash flow, after dividends, of at least £50m per annum.”
In September, Admiral also agreed to take on 150 tenanted community pubs from Heineken’s pub arm Star Pubs & Bars.
The latest acquisition of the Marston’s sites takes Admiral’s estate to more than 1,000 sites and boss Chris Jowsey told The Morning Advertiser he has plans to increase the portfolio further to at least 1,500 sites over the coming two to three years.
On the completion of the Marston’s deal, Jowsey said: “On behalf of the entire team here at Admiral, I am delighted to be able to officially welcome our new licensees and colleagues into the business.
“We are firm champions of the leased and tenanted model, and through this latest acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs, for which, we are confident we can unlock new growth opportunities through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.
“Our integration programme is well under way and we look forward to developing these new working partnerships.”