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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 31st Mar 2015 - Redcomb looks to raise £6.5m, buys Marco Pierre White freehold
Redcomb looks to raise £6.5m, buys Marco Pierre White freehold: Redcomb Pubs has acquired the freehold of the Carnarvon Arms in Burghclere, Newbury from RBS, in a deal worth over £2m – and is looking to raise £6.5m. The ex-Marco Pierre White site is a historic coaching inn located next door to the famous Highclere Castle, location of the BBC’s highly successful Downton Abbey series. Dan Shotton, managing director, said “We are delighted to bring this fabulous property into our portfolio, and plan to invest approximately £500,000 putting it back to its former glory. The pub has 21 letting rooms all of which are undergoing a transformation to create a hotel with some real character – and a bit of fun. The pub and restaurant will also have a makeover to bring back the spirit of how the building used to be – a glorious coaching inn with three real fireplaces, stone and wooden floors and a cosy, slightly quirky feel, which will serve delicious freshly prepared food all day every day. This is an ideal strategic fit as we look to grow our hotel room stock from the current 47 to in excess of 100 over the next 12 months, and we currently own a smaller 11 bedroom inn the other side of Newbury, The Crown & Horns in East Ilsley, so there are obvious synergies. Work starts on 8 April and we hope to be opening towards the end of June.” The deal was funded through cash and a facility provided by its bank, Barclays. Shotton added: “We are also currently in talks to raise a further £6.5m through other avenues to acquire a number of other assets we are at heads-of-term stage with, as part of our aggressive growth strategy for 2015, and will be looking to raise further funding throughout the year.” Redcomb Pubs is also opening its latest hotel above The Station in Hither Green on 20 April. An eight week project and investment of £500,000 has seen the creation of 16 individually styled en-suite bedrooms over two floors. Shotton added: “The Station has been one of our most successful businesses since we took it over in 2012, and with its proximity to Greenwich and London Bridge we are confident that it will go a storm; rooms are already selling fast, in part down to our competitive pricing strategy – double rooms are currently only £79 as we aim to attract a high level of repeat bookings as well as longer term lets.”

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