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Mon 21st May 2018 - NewRiver confirms in exclusive negotiations to buy Hawthorn Leisure
NewRiver confirms in exclusive negotiations to buy Hawthorn Leisure: NewRiver, which owns 300 pubs, has confirmed it is exclusive talks to buy Hawthorn Leisure, NewRiver stated: “NewRiver notes press comment regarding the potential acquisition of Hawthorn Leisure Holdings Limited (Hawthorn). NewRiver confirms that it has entered a period of exclusivity with Hawthorn and its major shareholder regarding a potential acquisition of the business. A transaction, if completed, would be funded from NewRiver’s existing resources. There can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded and a further announcement, as appropriate, will be made as soon as practicable. “Hawthorn was formed four years ago when it acquired 275 Greene King pubs for £75.6m. It quickly followed that deal with the purchase of 88 pubs from R&L Properties. The company has since taken over two small packages of managed pubs from Nectar Taverns and JD Wetherspoon, and has sold off about 100 non-core sites.”

Eagle Eye reports death of board member: Eagle Eye has reported that a board member has passed away. It stated: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Andrew Thomson (Drew), a board member and remuneration committee chairman of Eagle Eye. Drew has been a non-executive member of the board of directors since the initial public offering of the company in 2014.” Malcolm Wall, chairman of the board, said: “We are saddened by the loss of Drew who has played an integral role in the growth of Eagle Eye, his expertise and contribution to the company will be missed. Our thoughts go to his family and loved ones.”

Taco Bandits makes Oxford pop-up permanent: Soft taco restaurant concept Taco Bandits has made its pop-up in Oxford city centre permanent. The venue in Magdalen Road has now officially taken the place of former noodle bar Hyper Ramen. Taco Bandits Taqueria is open from 5pm to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, with the permanent move seeing the brand expand its menu. Taco Bandits is sharing the unit space with pop-up breakfast and brunch bar Spurtle & Spoon. Taco Bandits was founded by Michelin-trained Oliver Lee and Ben Gibbons, who is also development chef at Oxford University’s Hertford College. They told the Oxford Mail: “We’ve stolen a culture and made it our own – using authentic ingredients and methods but adding our own touch to keep them original. We couldn’t be prouder of the fact we make the lot from scratch.”

Aberdeen-based Tex Mex street food trader secures debut bricks and mortar site: Aberdeen-based Tex Mex street food trader FreshMex has secured its debut bricks and mortar site. The company was founded by Robbie Moult and Calum Wright in 2015, operating at farmers’ markets and festivals. FreshMex also has a residency at Adams and Hawthorn Sports Bar in the city. Now it has signed a five-year lease on a 1,500 square foot unit in Schoolhill following an off-market deal brokered by agents CBRE. They hope to open the site next month. Moult told SBNN: “The past three years have seen FreshMex go from strength to strength and we’re hugely excited to be opening our first standalone restaurant. The restaurant will enable us to bring our award-winning food to even more people. We are a growing, ambitious company and, with continued support, we aspire to take the unique FreshMex offering beyond Aberdeen.”

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