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Tue 20th Jun 2017 - Anglian Country Inns secures first outside investment to acquire eighth site
Anglian Country Inns secures first outside investment to acquire eighth site: Anglian Country Inns (ACI), the award-winning operator of gastro-pubs and restaurants led by James Nye, has brought in outside investment for the first time as it acquires its eighth site. The company has bought The Farmhouse at Redcoats, a 15th century farmhouse hotel and restaurant in north Hertfordshire. The site is currently closed for a refurbishment of the kitchen and restaurants and will reopen next month. The project also includes two adjacent grade II-listed barns that will be developed into further accommodation and a 120-cover wedding venue over the next year along with landscaping of the four acres of gardens that will include orchards, a herb garden and raised vegetable beds to establish a kitchen garden. The project has been set up as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by ACI to enable the project to bring in investors from outside the Nye family for the first time. ACI has raised the capital from a combination of loan notes and equity from private individuals and senior debt provided by Downing. Group managing director James Nye said: “We are very excited to be writing the next chapter for The Farmhouse at Redcoats. It is a building and a business we have known for a long time, both personally and professionally, and we have a great friendship with the previous owners for many years. There is a great opportunity with The Farmhouse at Redcoats and we intend to keep it as a ‘way of life’ as it has always been. It has also been great to work with Downing on the project, which has been very helpful and flexible.” Downing partner Steve Kenee added: “I am delighted Downing has been able to help make this exciting project a reality and to be finally working with ACI, a company whose reputation precedes it and whom we have been tracking for some time. It is also a perfect example of being able to combine our deep sector/property development experience with our broad lending criteria to be able to provide a debt facility that didn’t quite fit the usual bank model.” Last month, Nye told Propel the company was seeking outside investment for the first time to fund its largest venue so far. He said at the time: “This next project is different to anything we’ve done before and, because it’s a large site and a very large spend, we’re looking to bring in some outside investment. We’re going to set up an SPV, with the potential that once it’s established, perhaps five years down the line, we either buy back the shares or the loan notes and incorporate the business back into ACI.”

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