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Mon 5th Feb 2018 - Update: Booker’s Charles Wilson, Social Entertainment Ventures flotation
Booker’s Charles Wilson to join Tesco board: Tesco has announced that upon completion of the merger with Booker Group, expected to be 5 March 2018, Booker chief executive Charles Wilson will be appointed as chief executive of Tesco’s retail and wholesale operations in the UK & ROI. Matt Davies will continue as chief executive of UK & ROI until completion, when he will step down and after supporting a handover, will leave the group at the end of April 2018. Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “I am delighted Charles will be joining the Tesco board and executive committee. He brings substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customer-focused businesses. Charles is ideally suited to lead the UK and ROI business for the combined group in the next phase of our turnaround. I would also like to thank Matt for his outstanding contribution to Tesco over the last three years. His values based leadership and invaluable support have been instrumental to the significant progress we have made in the transformation of the UK and ROI business. I wish him well for the future.”

Bounce founder eyes flotation in the UK or US: Bounce founder Adam Breeden is eyeing a float on the London or New York Stock Exchange in the next five years. Breeden, who also co-founded darts bar Flight Club and is bringing a mini-golf concept called Puttshack to London this year, said that the rate at which the business was growing made a float likely. In an interview with City AM, he said he would “definitely” like to see his company Social Entertainment Ventures on the stock market. “That’s not an immediate way we’re going to capitalise the business but it’s very likely to be the next one,” he said. The business is still relatively small, with a few sites in London and one in the US. But Breeden said that with international expansion and the launch of new bar concepts, the company would grow quickly. “It’s because we continue to generate these new concepts and because there’s still so much growth, there’s the ability to license these products as well,” he told City AM. Social Entertainment Ventures is the umbrella company for ping-pong bar Bounce and Puttshack, as well as the US license-holder for Flight Club. Breeden plans to open several new sites in the UK and the US in the next few years, using funding from investors.“There’s a lot of people trying to get in on investing in the businesses but up until now we’ve been trying to raise money internally,” he said. “Now we’re going to be raising money externally.” He added that the US was a particular focus for the group due to its growth possibilities.

The Times – two pubs a day lost since new business rates regimes introduced: The Times has reported that two pubs a day have been demolished or converted to alternate use since the new business rate regime was introduced last April. Property advisory Altus analysed government data and found a total 616 pubs have been removed from the rating list in the ten months since the tax changes. The first revaluation of business properties for seven years saw rateable values for pubs rise by 14.2% to almost £1.63 billion. Although details of what happened to the 616 pubs are not provided, Altus said: “Their removal for tax purposes means that they have been either demolished or converted into other types of use.” Altus also reported that, during the previous rates regime, from April 2010 to April 2017, the number of pubs on the rating list fell from 54,674 to 43,006, which is a loss of four pubs a day.

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