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Wed 29th Sep 2021 - Exclusive – RedCat buys seven sites from Dominion Hospitality, global promotion for KFC’s UK COO
Exclusive – RedCat Pub Company buys seven sites from Dominion Hospitality: RedCat Pub Company, the new investment vehicle from ex-Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, has acquired seven sites from Dominion Hospitality, which owns and operates hotels and pubs in the south of England under its Relax and Historic Innz brands, for an undisclosed sum, Propel has learned. Propel revealed earlier this year that RedCat and Dominion Hospitality, which is backed by US private equity firm Stellex Capital Management, were in talks on a deal about a group of sites from the latter’s 15-strong estate. Dominion was formed through the acquisitions of Chapman Group and Saviour Inns in November 2016 and will continue to operate eight sites across southern England. Pubs operated by Dominion include the George & Pilgrims in Glastonbury, the George Hotel in Amesbury and the Ten & Alehouse in Worthing. Over the past few years, Dominion, which is chaired by Ted Kennedy, has separately disposed of about ten pubs from its original portfolio, while adding sites on an individual basis. It is thought the majority of the seven sites acquired by RedCat include bedrooms. They are thought to include the Kings Arms & Royal in Godalming, Surrey; and the George and Pilgrims in Glastonbury, Somerset. The package of site is also thought to include the Shore Bar in Seaford, East Sussex. Kennedy told Propel that it was “a nice deal for both sides”. He said: “RedCat get seven great businesses with great teams and the opportunity to invest to grow and Dominion is now debt-free with eight drink and accommodation-led businesses. I’ve known Rooney for many years and as always it's good to deal with him. He is definitely on a growth curve.” RedCat was founded earlier this year by Anand to invest in the UK pub sector and is backed by US investment firm Oaktree Capital. Oaktree is thought to have injected £200m into RedCat, which is led by Chris Hill, the former chief executive of New World Trading Company. The business has built up an estate of circa 75 sites since its inception, including the 42-strong package of pubs, which were originally placed on the market to address competition concerns surrounding Stonegate Pub Company’s £3bn acquisition of Ei Group; the 18-strong Coaching Inn Group; four pubs from the award-winning Knead Group; the five-strong, Leicestershire-based Little Britain Pub Company; and a number of single-site transactions, including the recent acquisition of the New Dungeon Ghyll pub hotel in the Lake District. 

Global promotion for KFC’s UK & Ireland COO: Rob Swain, chief operating officer at KFC UK & Ireland, has taken on the same role for KFC Global, effective from January 2022. Swain began as an area coach for the company in 2009 before joining its central and Eastern Europe team in 2013, undertaking various key roles including a secondment as general manager, before returning to the UK & Ireland team in 2016. Over the past five years, he had played a crucial role in navigating his team through the complex challenges posed by the distribution crisis in 2018 and the more recent covid pandemic. He said: “It’s been a challenging but incredible rewarding role, and I’m so grateful to the whole of my team for their support. I’m looking forward to this next step and will be taking all of the experiences I’ve had here with me.” Replacing Swain will be former KFC UK & Ireland area coach and MenaPakT chief operating officer Lucy Taylor. Paula MacKenzie, general manager at KFC UK & Ireland, said: “I’d like to personally thank Rob for his incredible commitment to our business over the last five years. He’s been front and centre as we’ve tackled some of our biggest hurdles – and we simply couldn’t have made it through without his leadership and tireless commitment to operational excellence. At the same time, I am delighted to welcome Lucy back to KFC UK & Ireland and cannot wait to begin working with her. We’ve got a really strong belief in internal opportunity at KFC, as these moves demonstrate.” Earlier this week, forecourt and roadside operator EG Group became western Europe's largest KFC franchisee after it acquired Amsric Group’s 52-strong UK portfolio.
KFC UK features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers. KFC UK turned over £197.1m in its most recent financial year, making it the 33rd highest of the 410 companies featured. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks the companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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 jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

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