Propel Morning Briefing Mast Head Paul's Twitter Link CPL Learning Link Collectiv Food Banner
Morning Briefing Strap Line
Sun 27th Aug 2017 - Admiral Taverns set for £220m sale, Leon and Hotel Chocolat expansion deals
Admiral Taverns set for £220m sale: Admiral Taverns is set to be sold to a US investment fund for £220m. The company, which owns more than 1,000 wet-led pubs, is in advanced sale talks with New York fund Proprium Capital, reports the Sunday Times. It is four years since Cerberus bought Admiral Taverns for £200m from then owner Lloyds Banking Group. Cerebus would be set to make a decent return on its investment after taking out cash in 2014 following a debt refinancing. Admiral Taverns was set up by the wealthy Landesberg and Rosenberg families in 2004, but hit trouble after a debt-fuelled acquisition spree before the financial crisis. The company collapsed under the weight of its near-£1bn debt pile and was seized by HBOS, later part of Lloyds. The bank eventually offloaded the company to Cerberus, but was said to have made a £500m paper loss on its loans at the time. Proprium is best known in the property market and owns a stake in the European hotel chain Motel One. A deal has not yet been signed and rival suitors may swoop should the talks break down. A number of buyers were reported to have approached Admiral Taverns with unsolicited offers earlier this summer, including Patron Capital, which has just completed its deal to buy 1,400 pubs from Punch. Admiral Taverns turnover was up 1.7% to £69.5m in the year to 28 May 2016, compared with £68.4m in 2015. Underlying Ebitda was up 1.3% to £25.2m (2015: £24.9m), while underlying profit after tax was up 11.7% to £12.8m (2015: £11.5m). Like-for-like income and Ebitda for Admiral Taverns’ retained estate were both up 1.3%. Admiral Taverns acquired 111 pubs from Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars in October 2014, with those pubs generating double-digit Ebitda growth in the second half of the financial year (immediately following the first anniversary of Admiral Taverns’ ownership) driven by investment and the development of effective working relationships with our new licensees, the company said.

Leon to head to Scandinavia: Healthy eating brand Leon is to head to Norway and Sweden after sealing a tie-up to expand in the region. The company is planning to open about 20 sites over a period of five years, with the first restaurant opening in Oslo as soon as the end of this year. The restaurant will be Leon’s second overseas move after opening two outposts in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport last year. The push into Scandinavia follows a meeting between Leon co-founder John Vincent and Jens Ulltveit-Moe, who made part of his $400m (£311m) fortune in oil-related ventures before selling them almost two decades ago to focus on the renewable energy industry. Ulltveit-Moe’s company, Umoe, which now runs more than 360 restaurants and cafes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, is taking an undisclosed stake in Leon as part of its agreement to open restaurants across Scandinavia. Vincent told the Sunday Telegraph the deal would help his ambition to make Leon the number one in “naturally fast food”. In March, Leon sold a £25m stake to private equity house Spice as part of its efforts to accelerate international expansion. It is understood Leon is also close to signing a deal for its first restaurant in America after Vincent and a colleague embarked on a road trip last year on Honda Goldwing motorbikes from Washington DC to Denver to identify suitable sites. Last week, it was revealed Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby had stepped down from the board as he focused on street food company London Union. Dimbleby will remain as a significant investor in Leon.

Hotel Chocolat signs Hong Kong deal: Hotel Chocolat is heading to Hong Kong in what is the brand’s first foray outside Europe. The company, led by Angus Thirlwell, has signed a deal with a local partner to roll-out a small chain of shops. Thirlwell said the expansion, which is being financed by cash flow, would be a test case for further shops across Asia. He told the Sunday Times: “In London, we were getting a high proportion of Asian people buying a lot of products and stuffing them into their suitcases to take home. This is the beginning of what will be potentially a huge market.” Hotel Chocolat, which was listed in May last year, opened its first store in Watford in 2004. It has 93 shops across the UK and three outlets in Copenhagen, along with a boutique hotel in the Caribbean. It will make its debut in Ireland in October when it opens a 1,100 square foot cafe shop in Dundrum town centre.

Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Punch Taverns Link
Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Propel Premium
Beefeater London Peach Gin Banner
Hellmann's Banner
Mr Filberts Banner
Collectiv Food Banner
White Claw Banner
Camile Banner
Punch Banner
Taylors of Harrogate Banner
Zonal Banner
Carlsberg Banner
Restaurant Collective Banner
ignite banner
The Vegetarian Butcher Banner
Crave Banner
Zonal Banner
Fentimans Banner
Nordic Spirit Banner
Trail Banner
KAM Media Banner
Access Banner
Startle Banner
Cynergy Bank Banner
Pago Banner
Veneers Banner
Yapster Banner
John Gaunt Banner
COREcruitment Banner
Punch Taverns Link Punch Taverns Link
Luminary Banner