Admiral disposes of pub package

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Deal revealed: FB Taverns have acquired the seven pubs from Admiral (image: Getty/metamorworks)
Deal revealed: FB Taverns have acquired the seven pubs from Admiral (image: Getty/metamorworks)

Related tags Admiral Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased Finance

Admiral Taverns has sold seven pubs, as part of its requirements from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), after its purchase of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company.

The pubs were acquired by FB Taverns following the CMA’s announcement of the closure of its investigation into the acquisition by Admiral of more than 600 pubs owned by Hawthorn.

According to The Morning Advertiser​’s sister title MCA​, the pubs are the Blue Bell Inn, Wigan; the Glade, Coventry; the Lady Jane, Whitwick, Leicestershire; the Rose & Crown, Manea, Cambridgeshire; the Stag Hotel, St Helens; the Swan Inn, Bury St Edmunds; and the Swiss Bell, Braintree.

The CMA opened the investigation into Admiral’s acquisition of Hawthorn last October and has now accepted undertakings by Admiral to ease competition concerns.

The sale of the seven pubs, which were the subject of undertakings in lieu of reference to the second phase of the investigation, is now complete.

Remaining as pubs

A spokesperson from Admiral Taverns said: “We are pleased to have resolved the CMA’s requirements for our purchase of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company.

“Under FB Taverns, these businesses will remain as pubs and can continue to support their local communities.

“We wish the licensees all the best for the future and would like to thank them for their contributions while working with Admiral Taverns and Hawthorn.”

The announcement that Admiral had acquired Hawthorn was made last summer​ (July 2021), which was for an expected gross aggregate cash consideration of about £222.3m.

The deal included Hawthorn’s 674 predominantly tenanted, leased and operator-managed pubs across England, Wales and Scotland, which took Admiral’s estate to more than 1,600 sites.

Previous purchase

It was funded by Admiral’s lenders alongside capital by investor Proprium Capital Partners. The acquisition was a continuation of the pub company’s growth strategy to expand its wet-led community pub portfolio.

At the time the deal was announced, Admiral chief executive Chris Jowsey said it was one of the biggest acquisitions by the company to date.

“[It] delivers on our strategy to build our estate to 1,500 sustainable pubs. It is a really exciting step forward for the business and we remain committed to the supportive partnership model, which is highly regarded by licensees,” he added.

The purchase was completed in August 2021​ and it was also announced Hawthorn chief executive Mark Davies would be stepped down as the firm’s CEO following the completion.

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