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Wed 2nd Dec 2020 - Exclusive: Ladhar Group in talks to acquire Sir John Fitzgerald, San Carlo to launch new concept
Exclusive – Ladhar Group in talks to acquire Sir John Fitzgerald: The north east-based Ladhar Group is in talks to acquire Sir John Fitzgerald, the Newcastle-based pub operator, Propel understands. Propel revealed last month that Sir John Fitzgerald, which has 16 managed pubs spread across the north east, has been placed on the market and was working with accountancy firm PwC on the sales process that commenced in September. The David Horgan-led company, which operates a mix of community, food-led pubs and city centre, wet-led pubs, is believed to have generated Ebitda of just under £3m for the year to January 2020. It is thought that an upfront payment of circa £9m was being asked for the business, which is valued at around £20m. Sir John Fitzgerald’s pubs include Newcastle venues The Bacchus, The Bodega and The Bridge Hotel, as well as Fitzgeralds in Newcastle and Sunderland, and the 29 Bar and Kitchen in Tynemouth. Ladhar Group, which was built by brothers Dave and John Ladhar, operates its Crafted Projects leisure division. Under Crafted Projects, which was formerly Ladhar Leisure, it operates sites in Newcastle, including Pleased to Meet You, Lady Greys, Central Oven & Shaker, Hop & Cleaver and The Redhouse, plus The Globe in London’s Borough Market. In 2007, Ladhar acquired 28 outlets from collapsed Whitley Bay-based pub and club group Definnitive Leisure. It is thought to operate approximately 50 pubs and clubs across the country and also owns 14 care homes under the award-winning Crown Care brand. It is believed that real estate investment firm Aprirose, which acquired north east-based managed operator Wear Inns for £22.4m in August 2018, had also shown an interest in Sir John Fitzgerald, which was founded after its namesake moved to Newcastle from Ireland in the 1850s. In July, Blackrose, the pub management company launched by Aprirose last year, made five senior appointments as part of its expansion strategy of 200 new site acquisitions by the end of 2021.

San Carlo to launch new concept in London’s St Christopher’s Place: San Carlo Restaurant Group, the north west-based operator, is to launch a new Italian restaurant concept in London’s St Christopher Place, Propel has learned. The new 6,000 square foot, 200-cover restaurant, which will feature two outdoor dining terraces and open next spring, will take over the former Carluccio’s site. San Carlo, which is owned by the Distefano family, currently operates 21 restaurants across the UK and five globally in Qatar, Bangkok, Riyadh and Bahrain. The new restaurant will add to its current portfolio of restaurants across London, which includes Alto by San Carlo, the rooftop, Selfridges; Signor Sassi on Knightsbridge Green; Cicchetti in Piccadilly and in Covent Garden; San Carlo Regent Street St James’s; and Fumo St Martin’s Lane. Managing director Marcello Distefano said: “We are very excited to have been able to acquire this site because it has been on our radar for a long time. St Christopher’s Place and the area surrounding it has been going through an amazing transformation over the past couple of years. We’re looking forward to bringing something new and exciting and will be revealing our plans in the coming weeks. Although London is very difficult at the moment, we believe it will come back stronger than ever.” Sammy Weinbaum, director at CDG Leisure, which acted on behalf of San Carlo group, said: “We are delighted to have acted on behalf of San Carlo Restaurants, which has proved by signing the lease on this fantastic central London location and growing its already successful portfolio of restaurants that there is great hope the once-thriving London restaurant industry will bounce back in 2021.” Bruce Gillingham Pollard acted for St Christopher’s Place as retained agents.

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