US firm behind Rooney Anand’s pub investment

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Targeted approach: it is understood there will be a focus on individual business or operators in the south east
Targeted approach: it is understood there will be a focus on individual business or operators in the south east

Related tags Property Investment Finance Greene king Rooney anand

Former Greene King boss Rooney Anand’s pub investment firm has been backed by an American financing business, according to reports.

Los-Angeles-based business Oaktree is providing the finances behind RedCat Pub Company, The Telegraph​revealed.

Anand, who headed up Greene King for 15 years until 2019 before joining Casual Dining Group as chairman, told The Telegraph​: “There is no set playbook. I am not trying to recreate Greene King. I see myself as someone who’s investing in a sector that has been oversold, where people have taken cover and written it off and have been quick to say ‘it’s not going to recover’.

“I’ve always been a strong believer in the great British pub. It has survived the Blitz, the Great Plague and the credit crunch – always bouncing back and taking its rightful place at the heart of the community. There will always be a market for a decent pub.”

Figure increase

Last month (January), it was revealed Anand raised the £200m to invest in the pub sector and was set to embark on a series of acquisitions​ in the coming months with the backing of a then unnamed US-based private equity firm.

This figure is expected to increase to £500m with a further £300, in debt funding to be raised, reports have stated.

It was also revealed Oaktree, which has a near £110bn portfolio, will be looking to acquire individual businesses or operators, with a focus on south east pubs.

The trade reacted to this news​, calling it “a vote of confidence in the pub sector resurgence” following a catastrophic year for the industry.

Significant evidence

Davey Co managing director Paul Davey said: “The news former Greene King chief Rooney Anand is looking to acquire specifically in the smaller scale pub acquisitions segment is significant evidence to support our strongly held view that the pub property market will see a strong resurgence as we pull through Covid restrictions into a post and quasi-post pandemic economy as this year unfolds.”

Fleurets director Simon Hall outlined how now is the best time for investors to consider opportunities in the sector.

He said: “By the time they sign deals and get them over the line, we are going to have a lot more clarity over releasing restrictions and trading is likely to bounce back.”

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