Punch acquires 7 pubs from Heartstone Inns

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Recent additions: Punch’s Clive Chesser has welcomed the seven Heartstone Inns pubs to the fold
Recent additions: Punch’s Clive Chesser has welcomed the seven Heartstone Inns pubs to the fold

Related tags: Punch

National pubco Punch Pubs & Co has completed the acquisition of seven pubs from south-west-based Heartstone Inns this week for an undisclosed sum.

Heartstone Inns was established in 2007 and will continue to operate its remaining eight pubs following the sale.

Punch owns and operates about 1,250 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales with plans to invest more than £34m in people and pubs in the next 12 months.

CEO Clive Chesser said: “We are pleased to welcome these seven wonderful pubs into the Punch family and look forward to working together with our new publicans and their teams.

“We would like to thank Heartstone Inns, which has been working closely with us to ensure a smooth transition for everyone.”

Further updates imminent

He added: “We have plans to invest in all seven pubs during 2020, providing them with industry-leading support to allow them to flourish, while ensuring they continue to operate at the very heart of their local communities.

“We will provide further updates as these plans progress but, in the meantime, the pubs continue to be open and trading as usual.”

The deal was advised by Neil Morgan of Christie & Co.

Heartstone Inns managing director James Birch said: “We are delighted to have sold seven of our pubs to Punch.”

Future best wishes

Birch added: “As a result, we can continue to develop and expand our remaining estate of large food-led managed pubs.

“We would like to thank our transferring staff for their loyalty and hard work and wish them, their customers and Punch the very best for the future.”

Meanwhile, Chesser told The Morning Advertiser ​in 2019 it had set aside £80m to pump into its estate​ over the following three years.

After coming to the business from Greene King, Chesser added: “I found the [Punch] business had been through a year or two of intensive change [following the transfer of 1,900 pubs to Star Pubs & Bars] and before then it was a story of growth.

“I expected a tray full of problems when I arrived, but I didn’t get that, so when I arrived I came to a clean desk and was able to say what we’re doing next is focusing on growth and starting a new plan.”

Related topics: Punch Pubs & Co

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