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Fri 13th Aug 2021 - Exclusive – RedCat adds Little Britain Pubco to growing portfolio
Exclusive – RedCat adds Little Britain Pubco businesses to growing portfolio: RedCat Pub Company, the vehicle founded and chaired by Rooney Anand to invest in the UK pub sector, has added more pubs to its growing portfolio, including Little Britain Pub Company businesses, Propel has learned. The company, which Propel revealed this morning had acquired the 18-strong Coaching Inn Group, has also bought the five-strong, Leicestershire-based Little Britain Pub Company and the five-strong, Suffolk-based Gusto Pronto Group. The Little Britain Pub Company was established in 2009 by two families – Ben and Katie Moore, and Mike and Lesley Herington – with the intention of creating “well-designed, food-led village pubs with an emphasis on fresh food and service standards that, while not being fine dining, are a good notch ahead of your average boozer”. It operates The Windmill in Wymeswold, The Curzon Arms in Woodhouse Eaves, The Blue Bell in Rothley, The Crown Inn in Old Dalby, and The Langton Arms in Church Langton. At the same time, Propel understands that RedCat, which is backed by Oaktree Capital, has also acquired The Grosvenor in Hanwell, west London, and The Lion Inn in Boreham, near Chelmsford, in two separate deals. The Grosvenor was formerly part of the Food & Fuel business. The Lion Inn comprises a pub, a bistro-style restaurant and 23 bedrooms. The aforementioned acquisitions, plus the deal for Coaching Inn Group, the 42 pubs across England and Wales acquired from Stonegate Pub Company, and some single-site transactions, including the recent acquisition of the New Dungeon Ghyll pub hotel in the Lake District, takes RedCat’s estate to around 70 sites since its inception earlier this year. In May, Propel revealed RedCat was in talks to acquire a group of pubs from Dominion Hospitality, which owns and operates hotels and pubs in the south of England under its Relax and Historic Innz brands. RedCat was founded earlier this year by Anand to invest in the UK pub sector and is backed by US investment firm Oaktree, which is thought to have injected £200m into the business. It is led by Chris Hill, the former chief executive of New World Trading Company. Sapient Corporate Finance advised RedCat on the Coaching Inn Group deal, while Neil Morgan at Christie + Co acted on the Little Britain Pub Company deal. The Times this morning is reporting RedCat bought Coaching Inn Group for a sum rumoured to be more than £50m.

Next edition of Propel Blue Book sent to Premium subscribers today: The latest edition of the Propel Blue Book of Turnover and Profitability for Premium subscribers, produced in association with Mapal, is to be published today at midday. The Blue Book features 352 UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators with a total turnover of £29.6bn. The Blue Book, which is updated every month – on the second Friday of the month – provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. A total of 180 of these companies are now posting total losses of £5.95bn as the effects of the pandemic take hold. Meanwhile, on Friday, 30 July, Propel Premium subscribers received the updated database of multi-site companies for July, which is produced in association with Virgate. The latest edition of The Propel Multi-Site Database included 71 new companies, operating 477 sites between them, and increases the total number of companies on the database to 1,951. Subscribers received the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they were also sent a 12,094-word report on the businesses added during July. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. It is updated at the end of every month. Subscribers also received a new database on Friday, 30 July. The New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, focuses on the newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and will be updated at the end of every month. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email to sign up. In this week’s Premium Opinion column, Draft House founder and The Breakfast Club chairman Charlie McVeigh muses on the topic of culture, that indefinable attribute that can make great businesses standout from good ones.

MeatLiquor to open new site in Clapham Old Town: Scott Collins-led concept MeatLiquor is to open a new site next month, in Clapham Old Town, south London. The 12-strong group, which recently opened its first pub, the Dartmouth Arms in London’s Forest Hill, has secured The Yard site at 13-19 Old Town. The site, which was formerly operated by City Pub Group, will reopen under MeatLiquor’s core format. Earlier this summer, MeatLiquor took a new lease on the Dartmouth Arms from Stonegate Pub Company, a deal that saw Collins return to the pub sector and the brand return to its roots. The first incarnation of MeatLiquor ran as a pop-up above a pub in New Cross in its early days in 2011. The residency was so successful it led to the opening of the first MeatLiquor restaurant on Welbeck Street in London’s West End that same year. Collins previously worked for and was a shareholder in the Clive Watson-led Capital Pub Company. Collins said at the time of taking in the Dartmouth Arms that the company may look to do more pubs going forward. 

Commercial rent collection recovery gathers pace: The collection of rent from commercial property tenants has continued to pick up compared with previous stages of the pandemic, according to a report. The Times reports that the latest figures from Remit Consulting’s REMark Report show that overall, an average of 78.6% of the rent due from commercial tenants was paid within 35 days of the due date at the end of the June quarter. This compares with the same point in the previous three months when 71.8% had been paid by tenants and the 63.3% recorded 12 months previously in August 2020. Remit Consulting calculates that, between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and the 2021 June quarter day, investors and property owners, including many pension funds and other institutions, have experienced a shortfall in the rent they have received from commercial occupiers of £6.4 billion, equating to approximately £1 in every £6 of rent due going unpaid. The retail sector also continued to show an improvement in the amount of rent being paid by tenants and 74.8% had been collected by property managers within 35 days of falling due. By comparison, the 35-day figure for the first quarter of the year was 63.3%. The Remit report, which covers 125,000 leases on 31,500 prime commercial property investment properties across the country, also found that the payment of service charges by tenants increased marginally. Overall, 71.7% was paid by businesses within 35 days of the due date, an almost identical figure to that seen three months previously at the same point after the March quarter. Laura Andrews, of Remit Consulting, said: “The trajectory of rent collections for the June quarter remains strong and it is looking very likely that it will be the best so far in the pandemic. The figures for retail properties suggest a sustained recovery, which will be particularly welcomed by investors and retailers.”

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