SA Brain sells 95 pubs to Song Capital

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Deal done: diligent work praised by SA Brain CEO
Deal done: diligent work praised by SA Brain CEO

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

SA Brain has completed the sale of the freehold and leasehold investment of 95 pubs to Song Capital and partners.

The Welsh brewer and pub company put 99 pubs on the market in 2021, in order to “provide a foundation for growth for the future of the Brains brand”.

The proceeds will go towards paying down Brains’ remaining bank debt “significantly deleveraging” the business.

The pub portfolio was marketed by real estate adviser Avison Young for a price reflecting a net initial yield of 5.75%.

Negotiations complete

On 20 May 2022, SA Brain concluded negotiations and exchanged contracts on a deal to sell 95 of the assets in one property portfolio to Song Capital and partners.

In January, Sky News​ reported Brains was close to striking a deal to sell 100 of its pubs to a consortium comprising Song Capital and Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Admiral Taverns.

Song Capital was established by Daniel MacKinnon and Tom Pritchard, two real estate executives.

MacKinnon previously worked with Alan McIntosh, the founder of Punch Taverns.

Foundation for brewery

In December 2020, Brains struck a deal with Marston’s to operate 141 of its pubs under the Welsh brewer’s brand.

The deal leaves the company with a small residual pub portfolio.

Chief executive Jon Bridge said: “I am extremely pleased to announce that we have exchanged contracts with Song Capital and (partners) for the sale of 95 of our freehold and leasehold pubs. The executive team at Brains and the Song Capital team have worked diligently together for a period of time to ensure a jointly successful outcome. I would like to thank everyone involved for their dedication and hard work.

“The proceeds of this deal will go towards paying down our remaining bank debt and significantly deleveraging the Brains business. This provides a foundation for our modern state of the art facility, Dragon Brewery, to brew our famous beers in the heart of Cardiff and continue to supply Brains beers to our loyal and new customers for generations to come.”

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