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Mon 6th Nov 2017 - City Pub Group to float, aims to raise £30m
City Pub Group to float, aims to raise £30m: Independent pub operator The City Pub Group has announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering. The company, which owns and operates 34 pubs across southern England, intends to apply for admission to AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange, and conduct a placing of new ordinary shares, raising £30m of primary gross proceeds. The City Pub Group intends to use the funds from the placing to accelerate its acquisition strategy as it looks to double its portfolio over the next three to four years. Liberum Capital is acting as nominated adviser and joint bookrunner and Berenberg is acting as joint bookrunner in relation to admission, which is expected to occur by the end of the month. The City Pub Group chairman Clive Watson told Propel he believed it was the “right time” for the company to float. He said: “We have a strong and experienced management team, all our supply agreements are in place for the next few years and there is a good acquisition pipeline. There are of course headwinds but these costs have been factored in. Our current track record is very strong and the FTSE is at an all-time high. I think all things considered this is the right time to push ahead with our plans.” The company has added to its portfolio after securing a site within the ticket office at Cambridge station and Watson said trading in the past five to six weeks had been “very strong”. He added: “I think we are very well placed to not only grow the size of the business but sales within the existing estate as well. Since inception in 2011, the company has prudently built a high-quality, largely freehold, cash generative and profitable estate of non-branded pubs focused on the needs of their local markets. I think people are bored with the chain pub and we are seeing the return of the updated wet-led pub. We want to continue to grow but continue to stay true to our values. Our staff are the lifeblood of the company. If you have good staff then you have good sales. If you have good sales then you have happy shareholders – it’s a virtuous circle.” The company has historically traded as two companies – City Pub Company (East) and City Pub Company (West). The City Pub Group was formed on Wednesday (1 November) through the all share merger of City Pub Company (East) and City Pub Company (West) by way of a scheme of arrangement of City Pub Company (West). Watson said the business had to change its name to The City Pub Group as the City Pub Company was already taken by another company that was currently in liquidation.

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