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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 14th Feb 2022 - Inn Collection to change hands in circa £300m deal
Inn Collection to change hands in circa £300m deal: Thirty one inns and hotels in the north of England and in Wales are set to change hands in a deal thought to value them at more than £300m. The Times reports that Alchemy Partners, the private equity firm, is selling The Inn Collection Group to a new company backed by the Harris family working with Kings Park Capital, a private equity rival. The deal represents a second bite of the cherry for Kings Park, which was the majority investor in The Inn Collection Group from 2013 to 2018, when it was sold to Alchemy. During that period, the business grew from three hotels to eight. Under Alchemy, the business has accelerated expansion of its “pubs with rooms” model. Its properties include The Black Swan at Helmsley, The Coniston Inn in the Lake District and The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry on the fringes of the North York Moors. The group, established in 2006, has a total of 31 hotels, including some under development. In January, it secured a £42 million loan from OakNorth Bank to finance the refurbishment of 13 sites and to support the redevelopment of its freehold property portfolio. The Harris family were one of the three families that founded Bourne Leisure, the Butlins, Haven and Warner holiday group. Last year, they sold a majority stake in Bourne to Blackstone Group in a £3bn deal. Paul Harris, a member of the family, confirmed that it would be backing Sean Donkin, The Inn Collection’s managing director, and his team to continue expanding the business.

Restaurant Marketer and Innovator videos to be sent to Premium readers this week, next edition of Blue Book due on Friday:Propel Premium subscribers will be given access to the entire recording of The Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit Conference this week. Subscribers will be sent 31 separate video presentations, featuring 67 speakers, at 9am on Thursday (17 February). Click here to read the full reader list. Meanwhile, the next edition of the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group will be sent to Premium subscribers on Friday (18 February), The Blue Book will now feature 536 UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators with a total turnover of £26.7bn. The Blue Book has begun to reflect the economic damage of the pandemic with 196 companies reporting a profit and 340 reporting losses. The Blue Book, which is updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive two other databases – the New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, and the Multi-Site Operators Database, produced in association with Virgate, which are also updated each month. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. 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 group editor Mark Wingett.

Burger King takes £600m flotation plan to investors: The private equity firm behind Burger King UK has added a third investment bank to its advisers as it pushes ahead with a £600m flotation. The Times reports that Bridgepoint is understood to have hired Peel Hunt alongside Bank of America and Investec to advise it on an initial public offering in the first half of the year. According to a City source, it has begun marketing the IPO to investors. It declined to comment, although the source confirmed that a listing was more likely than a secondary buyout. Burger King is the world’s second biggest hamburger chain. In 2017, Bridgepoint secured the UK master franchise from Restaurant Brands International to create Burger King UK. The private equity firm owns about 75%, with its management and Restaurant Brands holding the balance. Burger King UK is preparing for a national rollout of its reward scheme. This comes after a trial at 34 restaurants in Scotland. Diners received an instant reward of 200 points, enough for a cheeseburger. The company is planning to expand the scheme across its entire estate of just over 500 restaurants from the summer. McDonald’s, its great rival, is testing its loyalty card in Manchester. The mooted IPO comes on the back of strong growth, with turnover now about £520m. It is expected to open between 35 and 40 branches a year and to acquire further sub-franchisees, having bought in five under Alasdair Murdoch, who became chief executive four years ago.

Soaring food prices serve up a recipe for disaster: When families sit down for their roast dinner, they may be left with a bad taste in their mouths. The Telegraph reports that the price of the beef is 7% steeper than a year earlier, vegetables costs are up 6% and even the horseradish sauce is likely to be more expensive with condiment prices rocketing 12%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Opting for a rack of lamb could be pricier still, with costs almost 9% higher year-on-year. “Beef and lamb are actually in short supply [and] we are seeing some of the highest farm gate prices we’ve ever seen,” says Nick Allen, chief executive at the British Meat Processors Association. “Everywhere I look in the sector at the moment, there is price pressure. I can’t think of anything that’s going down.” Allen reels off a long list of soaring costs facing Britain’s farmers, including dramatic rises in fertiliser, feed and fuel prices, adding that supermarkets’ battle for footfall is the “only thing that’s really stopping it getting worse”.

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