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Wed 27th Apr 2022 - Exclusive: Amber Taverns appoints advisors as its gears up to review its options
Exclusive – Amber Taverns appoints advisors as its gears up to review its options: Amber Taverns, the wet-led, freehold community pub operator, has appointed advisors as its gears up to review its options, which could include a sale of the circa 160-strong business, Propel has learned. The James Baer-led company is understood to have appointed Sapient Corporate Finance to help it review its options. Amber Taverns has been backed by MxP Partners since 2014. At the end of 2017, former Admiral Taverns backers Ares Capital Management also invested in Amber Taverns, which at the same time agreed a new facility with HSBC of up to £100m, to back its strategy of adding ten to 12 sites a year to its estate. The company, which is chaired by Michael George, was founded in 2005 from the ashes of Honeycombe Leisure then bolstered by the acquisition of 28 former Cains pubs. LGV acquired the business in 2010, when it backed a £80m management buy-out. The business has spent the past decade expanding outside its north west heartland. Its estate is now spreads across the Midlands, Wales, north of England, parts of the south west, and Scotland. Under its operator-managed, wet-led model it is understood the business is not as impacted by some of the headwinds currently hitting the wider sector, including food inflation and rising utility costs. It is thought if Amber Taverns explores a sale it could generate interest from the likes of Greene King, the Fortress Group-backed Punch Pubs, and both UK and overseas-based investment funds. In the year to 31 January 2021, Amber Taverns reported sales of £29.9m (2020: £86.2m), down 65% on the previous year due to the impact of covid 19. Operating loss for the year was £7.9m versus a profit of £13m the previous 12 months. Amber Taverns and Sapient declined to comment. Amber Taverns features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers and now features 559 companies. Amber Taverns has turned over an average of £67.4m in the past five years. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. The Blue Book also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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 sign up


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