Young’s to acquire almost all Lucky Onion sites

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Deal struck: Young's will take over six pubs in the Cotswolds
Deal struck: Young's will take over six pubs in the Cotswolds

Related tags: Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Tenanted + leased

London-based pub operator Young’s is set to take ownership of six of the Lucky Onion group’s seven sites.

The Lucky Onion group, which is owned by Superdry clothing brand founder Julian Dunkerton and operates pubs and hotels in the Cotswolds, has agreed to sell most of its portfolio to Young’s but it will not include the company’s flagship No.131 bar, restaurant and boutique hotel in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Young’s said in a statement: “We can confirm that Young’s has agreed to acquire a handful of pubs and hotels in and around the Cotswolds from The Lucky Onion Group.”

Specific sites unknown

The sites Young’s will acquire are the Hollow Bottom, the Wheatsheaf, No.38 The Park and the Tavern, all in Cheltenham; the Wild Duck, in Ewen, Cirencester; and the Crown, in Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucester.

Young’s already operates Cotswolds businesses including the Blue Boar in Chipping Norton and the Bell in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Young’s sold 56 pubs, which included the majority of its tenanted estate to Punch for £53m​ in July last year. In November 2021, it reported a total revenue rise of 183.9% to £149.6m compared to 2020 in its interim results for the 26 weeks ending 27 September 2021​.

Late last year, Young’s also bought the Bull, in Ditchling, East Sussex​ – which won the overall title of Great British Pub of the Year in 2016.

Cider interests

The Lucky Onion Group was founded in 2006 by former lawyer Georgie Pearman and her husband and former Gloucester rugby player Sam Pearman, before Dunkerton took control in 2017.

During the pandemic, the business saw staff numbers fall from 94 in 2020 to 66 last year.

Dunkerton continues to have a number of business interests including Dunkertons Organic Cider, which also operates a taproom in Cheltenham, but since his return to the board of Superdry in 2019 his attentions have been drawn more and more towards turning around the fortunes of the business he founded back in 2003.

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