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Sun 30th Dec 2018 - Oakman to combine various businesses to ‘reflect true value’ of company
Oakman to combine various businesses to simplify structure and ‘reflect true value’ of company, terms agreed on further four sites: Oakman Inns and Restaurants has revealed it is combining its various operating businesses to simplify its corporate structure to “reflect the true value” of the company. It has interests in and manages pubs with a variety of partners in four limited companies – Downoak, Hedderwick, Hunky Dory Pubs and Warwick Globe. Having purchased the entire share capital of Hunky Dory from Ei Group, Oakman Inns and Restaurants has heads of terms agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Downoak and Hedderwick, and, to purchase the assets of Warwick Globe. The company revealed the move as it filed its accounts for the year ending 1 April 2018 at Companies House, which also showed average sales per core Oakman pub continued to exceed £30,000 net per week while terms have been agreed on a further four sites. In his report accompanying the accounts, founder and chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “Oakman is in the process of uniting the various operating businesses as a strategic imperative. Since the year end Oakman has purchased the entire share capital of Hunky Dory and has heads of terms agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Downoak and Hedderwick and, to purchase the assets of Warwick Globe. As well as simplifying the corporate structure, these processes will enable a consolidation of the balance sheet, which does not currently reflect the true value of the business. The combined group and a significant uplift in sales and Ebitda are anticipated for the current financial year (2018/19).” As previously reported, the company saw like-for-like sales for the year ending 1 April 2018 increase 6.5%. Group turnover was up 19.5% to £27.9m. Site Ebitda rose 23.8% to £5.3m while group Ebitda grew 43.5% to £2.4m. Since the year end the company has continued to deliver like-for-like sales growth, which stood at 8.5% at the end of the first half. Two pubs were opened during the reported period bringing the total number of developed sites at the year-end up to 18 – Beech House Amersham under Oakman Inns and Restaurants and the Cherry Tree, Olney under the Hedderwick vehicle. In addition, a “substantial” freehold pub, The Anchor, Hullbridge, was acquired as a going concern during the year, bringing the total number of trading sites to 19. The Anchor is profitable before being redeveloped into a full Oakman Inn, which is planned for 2019. Since the year end two more sites have opened – The Four Alls, Welford-upon-Avon, under Hunky Dory and The Royal Foresters in Ascot under Oakman Inns and Restaurants. Furthermore, Oakman was awarded a management contract by Apprise Pubs to develop and operate The Beech House, Hampton Hill, which opened just before Christmas. Since the year end Oakman has acquired two more sites with the intention of developing them as Oakman Inns – The Polecat, Prestwood, and 3 Downing Street, Farnham. Terms have also been agreed on a further four sites. As of this month the group consists of 22 operating sites, one under construction, one awaiting planning permission, four secured pipeline sites and has further properties under consideration. Borg-Neal added: “We are also disturbed by the government’s inflexibility on the matter of business rates, the on-going disparities of VAT, the impact of immigration controls on our ability to attract sufficient talented people and the inept mismanagement and financial impact of the government’s apprentice scheme. We do, however, welcome the government’s eventual support for our campaign to ban straws and our aspiration to ban the consumption of single-use plastics throughout Oakman Inns. Looking forward, Oakman is well placed to compete for market share. We believe we have the management skills, operational concepts and ambition to grow the business further. The board is committed to growing shareholder value while carefully managing the risks in so doing.”

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email

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