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Fri 6th Nov 2015 - JD Wetherspoon to sell another 34 pubs, mostly freehold
JD Wetherspoon to sell another 34 pubs, mostly freehold: Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has appointed CBRE to handle the disposal of 34 of its pubs.The properties, which are being considered for sale either as a portfolio, in small packages or individually are located in strong town and city centre locations within England, Scotland and Wales.  Of the 34 pubs, 27 are owned either freehold or held on a long lease at a nominal rent with the remaining seven outlets held on leases with an average unexpired term of 18 years.  The units are generating total sales of in excess of £38 million (net of VAT), with an average weekly turnover per pub of more than £22,000 per week. Paul Breen, senior director in CBRE’s Specialist Markets team said: “The portfolio represents a rare opportunity to acquire substantial high volume businesses which have seen sales growth in each of the last five years.  Food sales represent more than a third of total sales, having increased by 40% over this period, which makes the pubs ideally positioned to benefit from the continued growth in eating outside of the home.  We anticipate strong interest from existing operators and new entrants keen to create a platform which can be used to build a successful managed estate.” The 34 properties are in addition to the 20 units that were put onto the market by JD Wetherspoon earlier this year. The properties are as follows: Bedford – Banker’s Draft; Blackpool – Auctioneer; Chelmsford – Sir Thomas Mildmay; Chester – Forest House; Derby – Thomas Leaper; Didsbury – Milson Rhodes; Doncaster – Old Angel; Dundee – Capito;l Enfield – Picture Palace; Glasgow – Society Room, Gloucester – Water Poet, Grangemouth – Earl of Zetland; Hammersmith, London – Plough and Harrow; Heanor – Red Lion; Kingston Upon Hull – Zachariah Pearson; King’s Lynn – Lattice House; Lanark – Clydesdale Inn; Liverpool – Lime Kiln; Long Eaton – Twitchel Inn; Mansfield – Courthouse; Milton Keynes – Secklow Hundred; Pontypool – John Capel Hanbury; Portsmouth – Trafalgar; Putney, London – Rocket; Rotherham – Corn Law; Rymer  Sheffield – Swim Inn; Stourbridge – Edward Rutland; Stourport-on-Severn – Ye Old Crown Inn; Stirling – 43-51 King Street; Swindon – Groves Company Inn; Trowbridge – Albany Palace; West Kirby – Dee Hotel; Wimslow – Bollin Fee; Worthing – Sir Timothy Shelley

Downing supports Upham Group’s growth with investment of over £4m: Downing has completed an investment of over £4m in order to support Upham Group’s ambitious growth plans. Steven Kenee, head of licenced leisure at sector investor Downing LLP, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome the excellent Upham Group to the Downing family. Upham exhibit all of the attributes we look for in a partner – ambition, ability and experience. They have built an outstanding portfolio of 14 high quality freehold pubs since they bought their first site in 2012 and I feel honoured and excited that Downing is able to help them continue on this impressive journey. Our business is about much more than just capital and returns. It’s about building long term relationships with teams who share our core values of transparency, flexibility and integrity. Whilst money may make the world go round, its people that make it worthwhile.” Chris Phillips, chief executive of Upham, added: “We are absolutely delighted that Downing, who have such a well-established and enviable reputation of successful investment in this sector, has chosen Upham as a trusted operator.  From the outset we were impressed by Steven’s understanding of the sector and our business. The partnership will enable us to continue our growth plans of buying, modernising and operating well located pubs in the Hampshire area.”
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