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Wed 10th Oct 2012 - Breaking News
Amber Taverns secures £24m funding deal: Lancashire-based traditional pub company Amber Taverns has agreed a £24m funding deal with Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets in Liverpool as it looks to break the £30m sales barrier for the first time. Amber intends to use the new facility to add 12 new pubs every year to its existing portfolio of 80 venues across Northern England, the Midlands and North Wales. The new deal - which sees the pub operator extend its existing credit facility with Lloyds Bank by £2.75m - was accepted under the Government's National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS), an initiative launched by HM Treasury in March to help companies further reduce their borrowing costs by one percentage point. Founded in 2005, Amber Taverns posted sales of £25.4m in 2011 and expects to see turnover exceed £32m this year as a result of its rapid ongoing expansion. It specialises in running wet-led pubs located at the heart of communities which are refurbished to the highest standards with full access to major televised sporting events. The company, which has banked with Lloyds Bank since it was founded in 2005, said that it would continue to take advantage of reduced borrowing costs to maximise future growth. Amber Taverns’ chairman Clive Preston said:  "We are on course to own 100 pubs within two years and then we will see just how far we can go after that. At Amber Taverns, we’ve proved conclusively that the ‘wet led pub’ can thrive with a quality offering in the right location. We are succeeding by giving our customers what they want – value-for-money and the best sporting events in some terrific venues. As a result, each of our pubs now has an average profit of over £100,000 per annum. A major part of our success has been the on-going support and guidance we’ve received from Lloyds Bank’s Liverpool office which has an outstanding knowledge of this sector and the requirements of our business.” Ashley Suter, relationship director from Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets for Merseyside, North Wales and West Lancs, said: "We’ve worked with Amber Taverns’ team right from the start and the company continues to flourish in one of the most competitive sectors by ensuring that communities have pubs which they clearly love and keep returning to. We've witnessed first-hand how successful they are in both creating jobs and driving economic regeneration and we’re keen to play our role in supporting that. On this occasion, were we able to reduce the costs of their borrowing by supplying the funding under the terms of the NLGS which bring them savings on repayments. We’re actively looking for more entrepreneurial mid-sized companies like Amber Taverns across the region to support their growth ambitions.” Amber Taverns underwent a successful management buyout in 2010 which was supported by LGV Capital. Last year, it became the only pub operator to be included for three consecutive years in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for private companies that have shown the highest sales growth.
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