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Thu 11th Aug 2022 - The Groucho Club sold to Ewan Venters’ Artfarm business
The Groucho Club sold to Ewan Venters’ Artfarm business: Artfarm, the independent hospitality business run by the former Fortnum & Mason chief executive Ewan Venters, has acquired London’s iconic Groucho Club, in a deal believed to be valued at circa £40m. In a letter to members of the Soho-based club seen by Propel, chairman Nick Hurrell said: “I am writing to tell you that the club has agreed to be acquired by Artfarm, the creatively-focused hospitality business which has acclaimed venues across the world. I believe that this new ownership will be a great thing for our lovely club, with the deal being completed later today. Under the current ownership, much has been achieved over these last years. Above all, we came through the pandemic unscathed thanks to the hard work of Jeff, the managers and the whole team here at the club, and with the loyal support of our community of members and our shareholders. Before the pandemic, we took the decision to invest in our London home, which led to the creation of Bernie’s, the refurbishment of the second floor Gennaro and Mackintosh rooms, and the new Carter Room. At the same time, our membership has become more diverse and curious, and our storied art collection has grown under Nicky Carter’s perspicacious eye. Earlier this year, we were approached by a small number of parties interested in taking the club forward. The most attractive approach, given their sympathetic vision for the future of the club, is Artfarm. The Groucho Club now joins Artfarm venues such as the Fife Arms in Braemar, the soon-to-open Audley Public House and Mount Street Restaurant and Rooms in London’s Mayfair, Roth Bar & Grill in Somerset and Manuela in Los Angeles. Adapting and reinventing unique sites and bringing people together through art, culture and hospitality, Artfarm has established a worldwide reputation for excellence, attention to detail and outstanding service. We believe that Artfarm will be the perfect partner and the future of The Groucho Club is assured. Their pedigree in art and excellence in hospitality sits very well with the unique spirit of our club. I am happy to say to all our members that the future has never looked brighter.” In June 2015, the Groucho Club was sold to a group of investors for a rumoured £40m. The 37-year-old exclusive private members’ club was snapped up by Alcuin Capital Partners, then owners of the Caffè Nero coffee chain and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts UK franchise, from Graphite Capital. In the year to 26 December 2021, The Groucho Club reported turnover of £5.44m (2020: £4.38m), with Ebitda of £1.57m (2021: £1.1m), with losses for the period standing at £3.3m (2020 (£2.81m)).Turnover in the year ending 29 December 2019 was £9,496,247. Artfarm was founded in 2014 by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, co-founders of the internationally-respected art gallery Hauser & Wirth. That year, Artfarm opened its first restaurant, Roth Bar & Grill, as part of Hauser & Wirth’s art centre in Bruton, Somerset. In 2018, it opened The Fife Arms in Braemar, Scotland, a Victorian coaching inn that underwent extensive restoration to return the building to its former glory. Other Artfarm properties include Durslade Farmhouse and Durslade Farm Shop in Somerset.

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