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Wed 12th May 2021 - Andrew Andrea named as next Marston’s chief executive
Andrew Andrea named as next Marston’s chief executive: Andrew Andrea has been promoted to become the next chief executive of Marston’s. The company stated: “Andrew’s appointment follows Ralph Findlay’s decision announced earlier this year, notifying the board of his intention to step down from the role of chief executive officer at the end of the current financial year ending 2 October 2021. Ralph will remain in the role until that time in order to ensure an appropriate handover. Andrew is currently the group’s chief financial officer and corporate development officer. He has over 23 years’ experience within the pub and brewing industry and has served on Marston’s PLC board since 2009. In addition to his financial credentials, Andrew has extensive commercial and operational expertise gained from within Marston’s, as well as outside the group. In addition, Andrew is currently a non-executive director of Portmeirion Group. Andrew joined Marston’s in 2002. During this time, he has demonstrated that he has exceptional leadership qualities, as well as an excellent understanding of the group’s operations. Andrew’s tenure with Marston’s has included a period in the role of operations director for Marston’s Pub Company during which time he pioneered the highly innovative franchise agreement which is now widely adopted across the pub industry. Most recently, he project managed the disposal of Marston’s Beer Company covering all aspects of that transaction, both financial and non financial, as well as co-ordinating the SA Brain operational agreement last year. The combination of these skillsets makes him uniquely well placed to lead Marston’s through the next stage of its development. A new chief financial officer will be appointed in due course and a further update provided as appropriate.” Andrew Andrea said: “I am delighted to have been selected to lead Marston’s at such an exciting time as it embarks on the next phase in its history as a focussed pub operator. Despite the challenges of the last year, I am confident that we have a great team of energised and engaged people to deliver our vision, and I look forward to working with them and the board to return the business to growth and optimise the future opportunities available to us.” William Rucker, chairman of Marston’s, added: “Andrew was the strongest contender from a selection of extremely high calibre candidates under consideration and the unanimous choice of the board for the role of chief executive officer. He has clear drive, ambition and outstanding execution skills and these attributes, together with his deep knowledge of – and empathy for – the business, equip him well to lead Marston’s through the next stage of its development. The board has every confidence in him and looks forward to continuing to work closely with him in future.”

Updated Propel Premium multi-site database to include a minimum of 54 new companies at end of May: The updated Propel Premium multi-site database, which has the most comprehensive multi-site operator information in the sector, will include a minimum of 54 new companies when it is released on Friday, 28 May, at midday. New additions include US bakery brand Cinnabon, which plans to establish itself in the UK through the EG Group, recently opened the first three franchised sites in the north west of England. Milan-based fast casual poké business Poké House, which acquired the six-strong London-based Ahi Poké, announced it would launch seven Poké House sites in London by summer 2021 with the first in Notting Hill in June. Flatbread specialist Manakish & Naanza, operated by Emilio Malik and Javier Troitino-Ramos, plans to open 30 sites in three years, debuting in Covent Garden’s Neal Street. Meanwhile, Toca Social is an interactive football and entertainment concept with plans to open a 30,000 square foot site at London’s The O2 in the summer. Former footballer Eddie Lewis founded the business that will fuse the worlds of football, food, drinks and live music, with chef Ross Clarke promising an Americana-inspired menu. Available only to subscribers, the exhaustive database was most recently sent at the end of April and included the details of 1,717 companies. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different, and what each business specialises in. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers are also to receive access to a second exclusive monthly database, The Propel Blue Book. This Blue Book database will provide an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. It will be available to Premium subscribers on Friday, 4 June, at midday. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email to sign up.

Nightcap raises £10m for growth amid high investor demand: Nightcap, the hospitality group formed by investors Sarah Willingham and Michael Toxvaerd to back the UK premium bar sector, has raised £10m to further its investment strategy and to roll-out its latest acquisition, Adventure Bar Group. The £10m figure raised is significantly higher than originally planned owing to strong demand for the shares from existing shareholders and several new institutions, with the raise many times oversubscribed. Sarah Willingham, chief executive of Nightcap, said: “We are delighted to have secured this additional funding. The strength of demand from shareholders to participate in this placing is hugely telling, and testament to, we believe, two things: first, the amazing opportunity we have with Nightcap to back brilliant entrepreneurs and businesses like Adventure Bar Group and London Cocktail Club as we emerge from the pandemic. Secondly, it is a great endorsement of the premium bar sector and the opportunity to deliver significant growth and value amid huge pent-up demand from consumers – at a time when the ability to acquire the right prime sites at attractive rates is unmatched by anything I have seen during my 25 years in hospitality.” Nightcap is raising the funds through two tranches, placing a total of nearly 43.5 million new ordinary shares. Allenby Capital Limited is acting as sole broker in connection with the placing. Part of the proceeds from the fundraising will underpin the expansion and growth of Adventure Bar Group, which has nine bars in London and Birmingham, and which Nightcap agreed to acquire earlier this month. The successful conclusion of the £10m raise will furthermore strengthen Nightcap’s strategy to invest in the premium bar sector through acquisition. The latest acquisition is Nightcap’s second deal after buying The London Cocktail Club (LCC), the ten-strong cocktail bar business, in January 2021. Like LCC, ABG recently expanded out of its London heartland, opening a large outdoor bar, food and entertainment venue, Luna Springs, in Digbeth, Birmingham. It will open a second venue in Birmingham city centre – Tonight Josephine – next week, on the 17th of May. With a background in the sector and strong track record as an investor, Willingham established Nightcap with Toxvaerd to help bar and late-night entrepreneurs and businesses recapitalise balance sheets, and to access growth funding as the UK hospitality and leisure sector emerges from the pandemic, and guests return to venues.

The Inn Collection Group continues Lakes expansion with fourth Ambleside site: Ambleside lakeside site The Waterhead Hotel has been bought by The Inn Collection Group bringing its portfolio to 22. The 38-bedroom venue which has direct shoreline access and private grounds bordering Windermere lake near Ambleside, has been purchased by the pub operator as it continues to grow its pubs with rooms brand in the north of England. Taking the group’s Lake District estate tally to eight, the classic Lakeland venue will reopen as The Waterhead Inn on 17 May and continue trading before a planned refurbishment in 2022. The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin said: “We are thrilled to have completed on The Waterhead and to be bringing another extraordinary site into the group as we prepare for the expected staycation boom amid surging consumer demand for UK leisure destinations. It was our strategic vision as a group to more than double our freehold estate to 22 sites in 2021 and despite the intense challenges of the global pandemic, we have had our finger on the pulse to accelerate growth and realise our ‘buy and build’ expansion strategy. We are continuing to expand at pace and have organised ourselves internally to deal with greater than anticipated expansion. It’s a phenomenal achievement and a real credit to our team, our investors and our associates. The Waterhead has long been in our sights and we are excited to bring this remarkable venue and its team into The Inn Collection Group family. Our customers are looking for experience-led stays and The Waterhead delivers on everything we look for in a site – a distinctive USP and an attractive environment in a winning destination where our guests want to spend their well-earned leisure time to eat, drink and stay with us.” The acquisition of The Waterhead Hotel was supported by Colliers International who acted on behalf of the vendors and coordinated sale negotiations leading to its successful completion. The Waterhead Hotel acquisition, which was completed in an undisclosed deal, follows the group’s purchase of the neighbouring The Wateredge Inn at Waterhead Bay in March. In Ambleside itself, the group is carrying out a major refurbishment of the former Churchills inn site which it plans to reopen as The Temperance Inn in August. Its 30-bedroom The Ambleside Inn, located in the centre of Ambleside – dubbed the walking capital of the Lakes – will reopen on 17 May. Elsewhere in the Lakes, the Alchemy-backed group, which is supported with banking from OakNorth, owns The Angel Inn at Bowness on Windermere; The Coniston Inn at Coniston; The Swan at Grasmere and The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite. Outside Cumbria it has venues in Northumberland, County Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire while a 40-bedroom, new-build site on Sunderland’s seafront at Seaburn is set to open on 1 June. 

Pub is The Hub: New research highlights the social value publicans and pubs create by providing local services: The social value that pubs and publicans created by providing local services during the first covid-19 lockdown has been unveiled in a new report from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services. The report called ‘The Social Value of Pubs and Publicans providing Services in their Communities’ has for the first time measured the social value impact of pub services. Social value looks at the broad effects that an organisation is achieving with its work and takes into account the wider social, economic and environmental wellbeing benefits that a service or project can bring to an area. Pubs and publicans ensured that essential services remained accessible to local residents at the heart of their communities during the covid-19 lockdowns and they will be crucial in helping communities rebuild as the pub sector reopens. The evaluation undertaken by Cornwall Rural Community Charity, which is experienced in measuring social value, found that for every £1 spent on a project through the Pub is The Hub Community Services Fund, in the first lockdown, between £8.98 and £9.24 of social value was created. This illustrates that one suitable pub diversification project with a grant of £3,000 from the Community Services Fund could potentially create over £27,000 in social value to a local area. The Community Services Fund, which was started in 2013, offers small grants to help pubs diversify and has already supported over 160 pubs to provide more than 30 different types of services including village stores, Post Offices, allotments, community cafés and libraries. Further projects are currently in the pipeline or awaiting funding provision. The 25 covid response pub projects analysed in the evaluation included village stores, community cafés and takeaways, food delivery services, IT and information hubs, a bakery, a workshop and community gardens. The evaluation analysed various outcomes such as the impact that the projects had on helping support older, disabled and vulnerable people and how publicans worked collectively with local organisations to help reduce isolation and tackle social needs. John Longden, chief executive of Pub is The Hub, said: “It proves how vital these services have been during the pandemic. Covid-19 has reinforced the importance of pubs and good publicans in helping local people. Publicans were often the first in their community to rise to the challenges and recognise the issues local residents were facing. The important social impact of publicans’ responses to local needs has often been essential to get people through the pandemic. As the market fully reopens publicans and pubs are going to be crucial in helping local areas rebuild as well as aiding government priorities for economic recovery.”

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