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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 21st Sep 2023 - JD Wetherspoon puts another ten pubs on market, Boxpark appoints Paul Thandi as new chairman
JD Wetherspoon puts another ten pubs on market: JD Wetherspoon has appointed Savills and CBRE to sell another ten of its pubs. The properties, which are all freehold, are located in town and city centre locations across England and Wales and are being considered for sale either individually, in small packages or as a portfolio. The pubs are: The Pontolottyn in Abertillery, Gwent; The Ivor Davies, Cardiff; Spa Lane Vaults in Chesterfield; The Gate House, Doncaster; The Market Cross, Holywell; The Regent, Kirkby in Ashfield; The Mock Beggar Hall, Moreton; The Sir Norman Rae, Shipley; The Hain Line, St Ives; and The White Hart in Todmorden. The package also includes The Sir Daniel Arms in Swindon, which was previously on the market. Offers are invited for each of the sites. Paul Breen, director at Savills, said: “These substantial and well invested pubs are likely to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers.” Toby Hall, senior director at CBRE, added: “The pubs are all in long established and proven trading locations making them ideal for both existing pub operators and new entrants”. Of the previous Wetherspoon pub packages being marketed by CBRE and Savills, 15 of the 23 pubs are under offer. They are: The Asparagus in Battersea, London; The Wrong 'Un, Bexleyheath, London; The Sir Redvers Buller, Crediton; The Miller's Well, East Ham, London; The London Bankers, Eltham, London; The Capitol, Forest Hill, London; The Percy Shaw, Halifax; The Coronet, Holloway, London; The Widow Frost, Mansfield; The Alfred Herring, Palmers Green, London; The Cross Keys, Peebles; The Foxley Hatch, Purley, London; The World's Inn, Romford, London; The Butler's Bell, Stafford; and The Colombia Press (Lloyd's No 1), Watford. In July, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin told Propel he believes the right size for the business now is about 1,000 pubs. The business currently operates about 830 sites. Wetherspoon features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book. Its turnover of £1,740,477,000 for the year ending 31 July 2022 is the sixth highest in the database. The Blue Book ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription.

Boxpark appoints Paul Thandi as new chairman: Boxpark has appointed Paul Thandi CBE, as its new non-executive chairman. Thandi has been chief executive of the NEC Group for the past 16 years, and into the position of chairman of that business this month. Boxpark, in which LDC acquired a stake in 2021, said that with a wealth of brand building, destination development and leadership experience, Thandi will be focused on the group's expansion as it embarks on its growth strategy across the UK, as well as supporting the senior management team to explore potential new offerings and concepts. He will succeed John Leslie, who has been an adviser to Boxpark since 2016, and served as its non-executive chairman since September 2021, during which time the business has grown to more than 250 employees, generating revenue of £19m in the year to April 2022. Leslie, former chief executive of Intertain and previously finance director of Regent Inns, Scottish & Newcastle Retail and Allied Domecq Retail International, will stay on as a member of the Boxpark board and continue to chair its remuneration and audit committees. Thandi said: “LDC's investment in Boxpark is a great sign of the strength of the existing brand and platform. The opportunity for the team, the brand, future sites and importantly our traders and customers is something that I am genuinely excited about working on with the team, investors and the board. The scaling of the business through consistent performance across existing sites, what we do well today and how we move that into new formats, is at the core of how we deliver the next stage of the brand's growth as a team.” Simon Champion, chief executive of Boxpark, said: “Over the last 12 months, our senior leadership team and the board have strengthened, so it's a great time to welcome a new chairman. Celebrating this new appointment, I would also like to thank John Leslie for his incredible contribution over the last seven years at Boxpark, and I look forward to continuing to work with John going forward.” Last month, Boxpark announced it was delaying the opening of its new Liverpool venue until next spring. The venue had originally been due to open in the historic Canning Hall, part of the Cains Brewery Village estate, this autumn. A reason for the delay has not been given. The scheme represents an investment of more than £3.5m into the Baltic Triangle and is expected to create 150 jobs. Boxpark Liverpool will be the first of its kind outside of London, adding to the three current sites in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley. 

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