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Tue 19th Jan 2021 - Rooney Anand raises £200m to invest in pub sector
Rooney Anand raises £200m to invest in pub sector: Rooney Anand, the former chief executive of brewer and retailer Greene King, has raised £200m to invest in Britain’s ailing pub industry, betting on the prospects of a post-pandemic recovery for the sector. Anand, who spent almost 15 years leading Greene King, is to embark on a series of acquisitions in the coming months, reports Sky News. City sources said he was being backed by an unnamed US-based private equity firm, and had raised about £200m to help finance a takeover spree. People close to his vehicle, Redcat Pub Company, said Anand was unlikely to pursue large corporate takeovers in the near term, but would focus on smaller acquisitions with scope for improving operational performance. Anand has also registered other various names under the Redcat banner at Companies House including Redcat Inns and Redcat Taverns. Britain’s pubs sector has been brought to its knees by the covid-19 crisis, with thousands of sites facing permanent closure and industry chiefs left to plead for additional government support. Many industry executives believe, however, the ending of social distancing requirements will trigger a resurgence for the pubs sector. Anand, who left Greene King in 2019, also sits on the board of supermarket company Morrisons, where he is senior independent director. Last year, he stepped down as chairman of Casual Dining Group – now The Big Table – after it was bought out of administration.

BBPA – 74% of pubs still waiting for Christmas grants while 46% await November lockdown cash: Almost three quarters of pubs (74%) eligible for the £1,000 Christmas grant – which the prime minister announced at the start of December – are still waiting for their arrival, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The trade body also said almost half (46%) of pubs are still waiting to receive Local Restrictions Support Grants that were made available for pubs facing crippling tier restrictions and forced to close during the November lockdown. BBPA said the £1,000 Christmas grants were supposed to help wet-led pubs through a period when the average outlet would make £47,000 in revenue. It is also calling for the government and local authorities to work more closely together to ensure future grants are delivered to pubs at pace. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Months have passed by yet still thousands of pubs are waiting on the grants they have been promised. It is unbelievable that so many pubs are still waiting on their Christmas grants and grants for the second lockdown. Considering we are now in a third lockdown, it is scandalous. Publicans across the country are desperately checking their bank accounts every minute of every day to see if they have got their payment. Our sector is hanging by a thread so, for many pubs, getting these grants is the difference between surviving and closing for good. The prime minister personally promised some of these grants for wet-led pubs. We implore him to now intervene and ensure his promise is delivered. It is completely unacceptable that it has got to the stage where we are pleading with government to deliver the support we’ve been promised by them. These grants are a vital lifeline, but only when delivered. Government and local authorities must work more closely together to ensure future grants are delivered to pubs quickly.”

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