Oakman acquires six Seafood sites

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Executive team: (l-r) Peter Borg-Neal, Dermot King and Joycelyn Neve
Executive team: (l-r) Peter Borg-Neal, Dermot King and Joycelyn Neve

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Oakman inns Seafood pub company Peter Borg-Neal Food Gastropub Finance

Hertfordshire-based multiple operator The Oakman Group has acquired six pubs from the administrators of Seafood Pub Company.

Furthermore, former managing director and founder of Seafood, Joycelyn Neve will also be joining Oakman to head up the new Seafood Pub division, which will initially be based in the north.

The new sites restore 150 jobs and mean Oakman is on track to have 40 venues in its estate by the end of this year.

Oakman Group CE Dermot King said: “I am delighted we have acquired these sites, which will be the foundation stone for the third brand within our group – with the Seafood Pub Joining the Oakman Inns and Beech House brands within our portfolio.

“Furthermore, these acquisitions will represent the next stage in our strategic development as we look to extend our boundaries beyond our Home Counties heartland.

“There is significant untapped potential in the premium pub sector and I am not placing any upper limits on our ambition.”

Group structure

The six sites acquired are:

Alma Inn, Colne, Lancashire

Derby Arms, Longridge, Lancashire

Farmers Arms, Great Ecclestone, Lancashire

Fenwick Arms, Claughton, Lancashire

Fleece Inn, Addingham, West Yorkshire

Forest Inn, Fence, Lancashire

Neve outlined how she plans to reopen the six sites on 17 May and work to put new teams together will start immediately.

She added: “I have been a huge admirer of the Oakman Group, its ethos and its ambition. It has acquired the cream of the Seafood Pub Company sites and I’m confident that, with the Oakman team’s support, we will prove to be enormously successful.

The acquisition has meant Oakman founder and chairman Peter Borg-Neal and CEO King have reviewed the group’s structure and has resulted in a further change in staff roles.

“I am also delighted to announce Alex Ford, until recently operations director, has been appointed as managed director of Oakman Inns and will also report directly to King,” Borg-Neal said.

“By having these two very talented young operators reporting into a CEO of King’s experience and standing, we are very well placed to move forward with confidence."

Further expertise

He added: “Ford has made considerable progress as a leader since joining us in 2014 and we are delighted to recognise his success with this appointment.

“He will be responsible for the development of the Oakman Inns and Beech House brands in the coming years.

“Neve is a hugely talented retailer and will, with our support, now have the opportunity to build a bigger and better collection of Seafood Pubs across the UK. She will also add further expertise to our already impressive Oakman Group executive team and will contribute to the wider development of our business.”

The deal was overseen by Oakman Group’s vice chairman John Leslie and Christie & Co handled the sale on behalf of the administrators.

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