Property round-up

Interest shown in Deltic deal, Wadworth offloads 21 sites, Shepherd Neame pub package hits market

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Property Finance Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased Wadworth Shepherd neame

In a flurry of pub property market activity, there are updates from the Deltic Group, Shepherd Neame, Wadworth, Sir John Fitzgerald, Inn Collection Group and Admiral.

Parties interested in acquiring Deltic

Shoreditch Bar Group is understood to be one of a number of parties, including private equity firms Greybull Capital and Aurelius, interested in acquiring the Deltic Group after the late-night operator launched a merger and acquisition process.

It’s understood that the group is considering adding Deltic’s estate to the remainder of fellow London bar and restaurant operator Novus’ late-night business, which it purchased last year.

What’s more, according to The Telegraph​, buy-out funds Greybull Capital and Aurelius are weighing up moves for the embattled operator of Pryzm, Bar & Beyond and Atik, which has been forced to seek investment via accountancy firm BDO as a result of the eight-month closure of nightclubs.

Ideal Shopping Direct-backer Aurelius is based in Munich and has backed a range of companies across the continent, while Greybull Capital was linked to the bailout of Virgin Atlantic in May.

Aurelius, BDO and Greybull refused to comment on the Deltic sale, however a spokesperson for the latter said the crisis was “creating significant difficulties for many companies that would otherwise be viable.” 

As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​, the 52-strong group has already cut its workforce and reopened some of its clubs as bars in an attempt to survive the crisis.

The Deltic Group’s sale was also discussed in October 2018, however Revolution Bars Group walked away from a potential acquisition following initial talks.


The Breakfast Group snaps up London Bridge venue 

Bar and restaurant operator the Breakfast Group has found a home for a cocktail bar and Asian grill concept near London Bridge. 

Offering “expertly crafted cocktails and a sizzling Asian grill”, the new site’s announcement follows the opening of the Last Talisman in nearby Bermondsey Street at the start of November just days before the latest lockdown.

Founded in 1991, the group already operates five sites in central London, including the Salvador & Amanda sites in Covent Garden and Burlock in Marylebone as well as Gas Street Social restaurant and bar in The Mailbox scheme in Birmingham. 

Shepherd Neame brings four pubs to market 

Kent-based brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame has brought four freehold, “free-of-tie” pub investment opportunities to market off a combined guide price of £1.76m. 

Marketed by Savills, the portfolio comprises the Horse & Groom in Rushlake Green; the Fisherman’s Arms in Maidstone; the Pig & Whistle in Chignal Smealy; and the Chequers in Tunbridge Wells. 

The pubs, available as a portfolio or individually, have combined annual rent of £116,250 and are let to “good individual operators”. 

The news comes after the operator of 319 sites revealed that it had cut one-in-ten of its employees​ in preparation for a month in lockdown.


Wadworth sells 21 pubs to Liberation Group

Wiltshire-based multiple pub operator and brewer Wadworth has announced the sale of 21 pubs – just under half of its managed estate – to Liberation Group for an undisclosed sum.

As reported by The MA,​ The package of pubs makes up more than a tenth of Wadworth’s overall portfolio across the south west and London.

The sites that have been sold to Liberation Group are primarily across Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

The acquisition adds 140 rooms to the Liberation Group’s managed estate, taking the total number of rooms to 223.

Liberation will finance the entire cost of the acquisition by way of a new equity investment from shareholder Caledonia Investments plc.

The deal follows the sale of 18 Wadworth leased and tenanted pubs​​ to Red Oak Taverns in August 2019.

Read more here


Operator adds Old Cock to portfolio

Multiple operator Mark Gledhill has purchased 16th​ century, Grade II listed pub, the Old Cock in Halifax, West Yorkshire, an undisclosed price off a freehold asking price of £295,000.

The site’s new owner, who currently runs the White Horse, also in Halifax, has outlined refurbishment plans for the pub that he said “will give the place a fresh, clean feel but being sympathetic to its age and character”. 

Geldhill’s latest site was the location in 1852 of meetings that led to the formation of the Halifax Permanent Building & Investment Society, which became the Halifax Building Society. 

Fleurets’ Nick Thomas, who handled the sale, said: “It is really good to hear The Old Cock will continue its long history as a town centre inn. I am pleased to hear of Mark’s investment plans.” 

Newcastle-based pub operator on the market

The MA​ understands that the operator of 16 managed pubs, Sir John Fitzgerald, has been put up for sale.

Sir John Fitzgerald’s pubs include Newcastle venues the Bodega, the Bacchus and the Bridge Hotel, as well as Fitzgeralds sites in Newcastle and Sunderland, and the 29 Bar and Kitchen in Tynemouth. 

The operator of community, food-led pubs and wet-led pubs is believed to have generated Ebitda of just under £3m for the year to January 2020

The company, founded after its namesake moved to Newcastle from Ireland in the 1850s, is working with accountancy firm PwC after a sales process was initiated in October. 


Braemar-based publicans take on Mayfair venue

Art dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth's hospitality company Artfarm has taken on the lease for the Audley pub in London's Mayfair with plans to transform the site and relaunch it in 2022.

The owners of the Fife Arms in Braemar, Scotland and Somerset's Roth Bar & Grill have been unveiled as the new operators of the Audley pub in Mayfair following its closure last year.

The Wirths are considered to be two of the world’s most powerful art dealers, owning the Hauser + Wirth galleries business.

They signed a lease with Grosvenor Britain & Ireland for the Grade II listed venue, which was built in 1888 and designed by Thomas Verity, the man who designed the exterior of the pavilion at Lord's Cricket Ground.

The site’s renovation is provisionally set to be completed in autumn 2022, with the addition of a restaurant and rooms and the restoration of many of its original historic features lost due to bomb damage in WWII.

"We are delighted to be bringing this historic pub back to its former glory with Grosvenor and to make it the heart of the local community for years to come," Jonathon Cornaby, chief financial officer at Artfarm, said.

Piers Townley, Mayfair director at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, added: "Community-focused pubs are a vital asset for Mayfair's residents, workers and visitors. 

“In Artfarm, we have a partner with clear sustainability and community values that match our own. We are delighted to welcome them to Mount Street to join us in restoring this historic building." 

Inn Collection Group acquires second site in lockdown 

North east-based multiple operator the Inn Collection Group has added a second site to its portfolio during lockdown with a new venue in Yorkshire.

The Stables at Crossbutts in Whitby is the group’s second November transaction following the acquisition of the 88-bedroom Lindum Hotel in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire growing its estate to 17 sites. 

The nine-bedroom inn overlooks the Esk Valley and is two miles from Whitby beach and neighbouring fishing village Sandsend.

The undisclosed deal grows the company’s portfolio in Yorkshire where it already owns the King’s Head Inn at Newton-under-Roseberry and the Black Swan at Helmsley.

Read more here


GSG Hospitality adds second Salt Dog Slims bar and speakeasy

Independent bar and restaurant operator GSG Hospitality has secured a venue for its Salt Dog Slims brand in Manchester – its first in the city. 

Previously Graffiti Spirits Group, the operator of Duke Street Food and Drink Market, Bold Street Coffee and Maluco acquired the site near Manchester’s King Street, the Northern Quarter and Spinningfields with an early 2021 opening in mind. 

The group’s first Salt Dog Slims venue, which opened in Liverpool in 2012, specialises in steins, cocktails and American-style chilli dogs.

Like the original venue, Manchester’s Salt Dog Slims will also boast a hidden underground speakeasy bar, which will require a secret code for entry and only open to guests “by appointment only”. 

“We’ve been considering expansion into other northern cities for a while now and we’ve finally found a venue that is perfect for us and the concept it will be home to,” GSG Hospitality co-founder Matt Farrell, said. 

“Salt Dog Slims is a much-loved bar for its music, drinks and unique atmosphere, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to Manchester.”

Co-founder John Ennis added: “The new venue is in the centre of the city’s buzzing nightlife. We can’t wait to open in early 2021 and introduce Salt Dogs and our new underground, exclusive speakeasy to Manchester and beyond.” 

North Brewing Co unveils new ‘multi-million pound’ site 

Leeds-based brewer and bar operator North Brewing Co has revealed its new home, doubling its capacity in a former tannery.

Springwell in north Leeds will also see a new 500-person taproom in the 21,000sq ft factory and will mean brewing output will increase to 16,000 hectolitres (2.8m pints a year).

The new site will provide a central hub for the brewery and its on-trade arm North Bar’s seven sites and taprooms, allowing brewing and bar operations to be under the same roof.

The firm has received a Business Growth Programme Fund from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to support the project and generate seven jobs in the business.

Read more here

Admiral Taverns sells Liverpool pub

The operator of around 1,000 community pubs, Admiral Taverns, has sold the George Hotel in Liverpool for an undisclosed sum to undisclosed purchaser in a deal brokered by agents Fleurets.

“We can confirm we have secured a sale for the George Hotel with completion in early November,” an Admiral spokesman explained.  “The pub had been on the market since before the onset of Covid-19. 

“While our focus is always on helping our licensees to run sustainable pub businesses, in this instance, we felt the George Hotel did not have a long-term future and, therefore, took the decision to sell the pub.”


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