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Newswire - 26 January

26 January 2021Newswire Topics: Leisure & Nightclubs, Pubs & Bars, Restaurants
Newswire - 26 January

Pub sector veterans chasing M&A bargains jostle for space at the bar

The pubs industry is set for a wave of mergers and acquisitions as industry veterans seek to raise funds for deals. Mark McQuater, the former boss of Barracuda Pub Company and Revolution Bars, and Mark Crowther, the former Liberation Group chief executive, are both seeking backing for pub deals, The Times has learnt.

New pubco set to launch by trio of industry veterans

Three top operators are set to re-enter the UK pub market with the launch of the Valiant Pub Company. Gerry Carroll and Mark McGinty, who co-founded Hawthorn Leisure, are teaming up with James Croft, ex-group strategy and retail director at Ei Group, to launch the new venture, which will initially focus on suburban, community pubs, according to the Morning Advertiser.

Rooney Anand raises £200m to invest in pub sector:

Rooney Anand, the former chief executive of brewer and retailer Greene King, has raised £200m to invest in Britain's pub industry, betting on the prospects of a post-pandemic recovery for the sector. Anand, who spent almost 15 years leading Greene King, is to embark on a series of acquisitions in the coming months, reports Sky News.

Red Oak Taverns complete latest acquisition, and looking for more

Red Oak Taverns has completed the acquisition of three pubs from Reclamation Inns for an undisclosed sum. The three pubs, The Great Western, Bewdley, The Railway in Alsager, Crewe and The Black Boy, Bridgnorth will be added to the pub company's current portfolio of 177 pubs, advise Hospitality and Catering News. Red Oak Taverns was founded by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell in 2011 and is eyeing further opportunities.

JD Wetherspoon has said that it expects its pubs to remain shut until APRIL as the coronavirus pandemic continues

JD Wetherspoon is to raise up to £93.7m through a placing of new ordinary shares, after it revealed that it is burning through £4 million in cash during each week of lockdown. Trade is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022, but even so, the company estimates that it has sufficient liquidity to the end of the current financial year. It is the second equity raise for the firm in the pandemic. Last April it raised £137.7million of new funds, reports The Sun.

Britain could be kept in a three-month lockdown 'halfway house' after Easter

It has been reported that lockdown restrictions may not be fully lifted until all over-50s have had their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Under proposals being considered by ministers, Britain could be kept in a three-month lockdown 'halfway house' after Easter to make sure more of the population has received their jab, The government is said to be hoping to kick-start the economy in April allowing pubs, restaurants and bars to reopen under similar measures that were in place last summer, including the rule of six and social distancing according to The Metro.

Chancellor considers furlough extension and revival of job retention bonus in Budget

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is weighing up another extension of the government's furlough scheme as part of plans to support the UK's covid-hit jobs market. The £60bn scheme paying 80% of workers' salaries has already been extended until April, but a continuation of the unprecedented jobs support is an option under consideration for Mr Sunak's Budget on 3 March, advises The Telegraph.

And Finally...

The Guardian has reported that Van Morrison plans to start legal action over Northern Ireland Covid ban on live music. The Northern Irish executive in Belfast has introduced regulations that prohibit live music in indoor licensed venues in Northern Ireland. All hospitality and entertainment venues are closed as part of a six-week lockdown, but Morrison is eager to challenge the rules for when they reopen and his solicitor has said he expected the case to be heard at the high court within "weeks". He said that Morrison was taking the action "on behalf of the thousands of musicians, artists, venues and those involved in the live music industry", Rice said.

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Graeme Bunn

Graeme Bunn

Managing Director

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