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Thu 23rd Jan 2020 - Exclusive – Punch acquires seven pubs from Heartstone Inns
Exclusive – Punch acquires seven pubs from Heartstone Inns: Punch Pubs & Co has completed the acquisition of seven pubs from Heartstone Inns for an undisclosed sum. The package of pubs is spread across the south west of England and comprises The Cricketers, The Diggers Rest, The King Alfred, The Owl, The Pelican, The Bathurst Arms and The Talbot. Heartstone, which is led by co-founder James Birch, will continue to operate its remaining eight pubs. Punch chief executive Clive Chesser said: “We are pleased to welcome these seven wonderful pubs into the Punch family and look forward to working together with our new publicans and their teams. We would like to thank Heartstone Inns, which has been working closely with us to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. We have plans to invest in all seven pubs during 2020, providing them with industry-leading support to allow them to flourish while ensuring they continue to operate at the very heart of their communities. We will provide further updates as these plans progress but in the meantime the pubs remain open and trading as usual.” Birch, managing director of Heartstone Inns, said: “We are delighted to have sold seven of our pubs to Punch. As a result, we can continue to develop and expand our remaining estate of large, food-led, managed pubs. We would like to thank our transferring staff for their loyalty and hard work and wish them, their customers and Punch the very best for the future.” The pubs were acquired as a package from Heartstone in a deal brokered by Neil Morgan, of Christie & Co. Punch currently owns and operates circa 1,250 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. It plans to invest more than £34m in its people and pubs during the next year. In November Punch, which is owned by Patron Capital and May Capital, told Propel it had identified three distinct routes through which it could grow its estate alongside a major investment programme for its existing portfolio. The Burton-based company is looking at single-site acquisitions; acquiring smaller pub groups that would act as strategic bolt-ons; or buying a larger group of tenanted pubs.
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