Admiral Taverns has announced an expansion to its portfolio following the acquisition of 137 community pubs from Marston’s PLC.
The £44.9m deal, expected to be complete by the end of November, is in line with Marston’s plans to reduce its debt through disposing of certain “non-core assets”.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive officer of Marston’s, said: “We remain focused on our stated objective of reducing our net debt by £200m by 2023 or earlier, and thereafter operating a high quality business generating consistent net cashflow, after dividends, of at least £50m per annum.”
Commenting on the proposed expansion, Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said: “This is another exciting acquisition for our business, building on the strong momentum established over the course of the year.
“We remain fully committed to the leased and tenanted model, and through this acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs which we look forward to developing through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.”
The 137 small leased, tenanted and franchised pubs have a book value of £62.6m.
Admiral Taverns said it had formed “a partnership” with experienced managed-operator Helen Standing “to facilitate the smooth transition of these pubs to the Admiral platform whilst the group evaluates the longer-term opportunities for these sites”.
Chris Jowsey added: “I’m also very pleased that Helen Standing has agreed to partner with us to support the wider integration programme for some of these pubs. Helen is a highly successful, experienced operator who is well known to our team and we are looking forward to working very closely with her and these pubs.”
The announcement of this deal follows Admiral Tavern’s acquisition of 150 sites from Star Pubs and Bars in October of this year, alongside support of investors Proprium Capital Partners and C&C group.