The Liberation Group (“Liberation”), the leading Channel Islands pub and restaurant group, today announces that its Bristol based subsidiary, Butcombe Brewery Limited (“Butcombe”), has exchanged contracts to acquire 21 pubs from Wadworth and Company Limited (“Wadworth”).
The acquisition is in line with Liberation’s longer-term strategy to grow Butcombe’s presence throughout the West Country via the acquisition of high quality, predominantly freehold pubs capable of supporting a premium, food-led offering with accommodation. The acquisition will deliver an additional 140 rooms to the Liberation Group’s Managed estate, taking the total number of rooms to 223.
Liberation will incorporate the acquired sites, and associated employees, into Butcombe’s existing 39-pub portfolio and intends to invest substantial capital into many of the businesses to support future growth.
Butcombe’s enlarged portfolio will be well placed to benefit from evolving consumer trends including: ever-increasing demand for quality, locally produced food and drink, staycations and working from home.
Liberation will finance the entire cost of the acquisition by way of a new equity investment from its ultimate shareholder, Caledonia Investments plc.
Jonathan Lawson, CEO, Liberation Group commented: “We are delighted to welcome the teams of these fantastic pubs to Butcombe and have worked closely with Wadworth to ensure a smooth transition. We have ambitious plans for these businesses and look forward to a successful future together.
“Although the challenge posed by Covid-19 on Liberation, and the wider hospitality sector, continues to be substantial, it has not impacted our longer-term strategic ambition for Liberation, or the strength of customer demand for the exceptional experiences that we provide.
“We have been encouraged by the strength of Liberation’s trading performance post-lockdown, up to and including October half term, with our Managed pubs successfully offsetting the impact of lower drink revenues with double digit food and accommodation growth.
“The strength of Liberation’s recovery is a direct reflection of the inherent quality and relative positioning of Liberation’s portfolio of businesses and the unrelenting dedication and passion of our colleagues throughout this immensely challenging period.”
The Liberation Group was advised on this transaction by Sapient Corporate Finance.