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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Sun 13th Feb 2022 - Caffe Nero buys rest of Coffee#1
Caffe Nero buys rest of Coffee#1: Caffe Nero has reached an agreement to acquire SA Brain’s remaining 33% stake in Coffee#1. The group and one of its supportive shareholders originally bought 67% of Coffee#1 in 2019 from owner SA Brain, the Welsh Brewery. Coffee#1 operates across Wales, the Midlands and Southern England, and opened its first store in 2011. Since buying the majority share of the Coffee#1 business in 2019, the group has managed the Coffee#1 brand, including making significant operating improvements and growing the business from 92 stores to 102 stores today. The company stated: “Coffee#1 has proven to be a robust business. Its strength and popularity has been demonstrated through its quick rebound from the pandemic following the removal of restrictions. It has averaged 104% of pre-pandemic sales over the last four months. Plans are for Coffee#1 to continue to operate as a standalone brand alongside the group’s other brands: Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma. The recent refinancing process completed in January 2022 by The Nero Group has given it a platform for growth going forward. The acquisition of Brain’s minority stake in Coffee#1 is part of the group’s strategy of pushing ahead with its growth ambitions.” Gerry Ford, founder and group chief executive of The Nero Group, said: “We’ve been delighted with the performance of the Coffee#1 business since it joined our group in 2019. It is a fantastic brand with an emphasis on great coffee and service combined with a local community-based feel, which matches perfectly with the ethos of The Nero Group. As we emerge from the pandemic, our intention is to return to growing stores in our group and investing in growth opportunities. Coffee#1 is very much part of that thinking. Acquiring Brain’s remaining position is the first step of this post- refinancing growth phase.”

The Inn Collection Group adds two Lake District sites: The Inn Collection Group’s portfolio has reached 31 following the completion of two further Lake District venues. The Northumberland-based operator has purchased Ambleside sites the 36-room The Regent Hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere and the 19-room Ambleside Lake House on Waterhead Bay, in an undisclosed deal completed on Friday 11 February. The deal takes the group’s Cumbria estate to ten sites and their total estate count to 31, with further acquisitions in the pipeline. Sean Donkin, managing director for The Inn Collection Group said: “It is a landmark achievement for the group to have passed the 30-site marker and I’m delighted that it has been with venues of the calibre as The Regent Hotel and Ambleside Lake House. It is a sign of The Inn Collection Group’s ongoing commitment and investment in the Lake District as we drive forward strategic expansion plans with our Eat, Drink, Sleep and Explore concept while making significant contributions into the communities around our sites with employment, inter trading and wider economic benefits.” Both The Regent Hotel and Ambleside Lake House will continue trading ahead of undergoing refurbishments later in the year. The deals follow the purchase of the 90-bedroom Hotel St George in Harrogate and Ullswater lakeside venue The Glenridding Hotel in the last seven days. The group’s Cumbrian estate includes sites in some of the Lake District’s most sought after addresses including Coniston, Grasmere, Bowness-on-Windermere and Bassenthwaite and now employs over 250 people in the county.

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