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Thu 29th Jun 2017 - Luke Johnson-backed Draft House agrees Grand Union pubs takeover
Luke Johnson-backed Draft House agrees Grand Union pubs takeover: Draft House, the London-based craft beer operator led by Charlie McVeigh and backed by Luke Johnson, has agreed to acquire the Grand Union chain of bars, which serial investor Johnson also backs. Draft House, which has ten pubs in the capital, said it was buying the Grand Union Group, which comprises six venues, from Johnson and founder Adam Marshall with the price thought to be about £3m. The purchase, expected to complete tomorrow (Friday, 30 June), consists of the Grand Union sites Camden, Paddington, Chancery Lane, Farringdon and Kennington, plus the Trade Union venue in Wapping. Existing staff will be kept on and up to 50 more recruited. The Grand Union pubs will be converted into Draft House sites. McVeigh told the Evening Standard: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a key site in Camden Town and five other beautiful pubs in prime central London locations.” Johnson took a 50% stake in Grand Union in 2013, two years after he acquired a stake in craft beer specialist Draft House. Coffer Corporate Leisure advised on the deal.

Seedrs lists 138 share lots in debut secondary market trading cycle: Crowdfunding platform Seedrs has said 138 share lots were listed in 80 different businesses in its inaugural secondary market, with 59 share lots purchased across 48 companies. The market opened for its first trade on Tuesday, 6 June giving investors the opportunity to trade private shares, allowing them more control over when they make a return from their investment. Before the launch, crowdfunding investors only had money returned when a company they backed was bought or decided to list publically, a decision taken by management. For the beta launch, only those investors who were already a shareholder in a company were able to purchase shares. Seedrs said there had already been more than 540 requests to sell share lots in the next trading window, which starts on Tuesday (4 July). The company stated: “We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from investors and businesses in our first trading window. We are looking forward to seeing how the Seedrs Secondary Market evolves, helping provide investors with earlier liquidity opportunities and enabling businesses to raise funds more easily.” Seedrs pointed out that not all shares would be eligible for the secondary market and, even if they were, the ability to buy and sell shares would “depend on demand”. 

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