C&C owned Admiral Taverns buys 150 pubs from Star Pubs and Bars

Pub operator Admiral Taverns, which is owned by C&C Group, the Irish drinks group that rescued Bibendum and Matthew Clark following the collapse of Conviviality in 2018, and PE firm Proprium Capital Partners, has bought 150 tenanted pubs from Star Pubs & Bars, boosting its portfolio to nearly 1,000 pubs.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, has increased Admiral’s drinks-led pub estate from around 800 to 950 community pubs, which are predominantly in suburban or city locations and operated as a tenanted estate.

It follows the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Chris Jowsey, to lead the business through the next phase of its development.

Jowsey said the move marked another important step forward in its strategy and ambition.

“Admiral has a strong track record of integrating new acquisitions and these new pubs will significantly increase our presence across the UK,” he said.

“Core to Admiral’s approach is our commitment to invest behind our pubs and licensees, supporting them to build vibrant social hubs that can thrive at the heart of their local communities. Through this acquisition we are delighted to be able to bring so many new dedicated licensees into our business. On behalf of the team I would like to officially welcome them all to Admiral and look forward to building our long-term working partnerships.”

C&C bought a 47% share in the pub business in December 2017 for an equity investment of £37m, with Proprium Capital Partners becoming the majority shareholder.

Earlier this year, the group announced it was moving its listing from Dublin to the London Stock Exchange to tap into a larger pool of investors and make it easier for its UK-based investors after Brexit.

C&C reported pre-tax profits up 17% to €92.9m in May, following a “transformational year” in which the acquisition of the former Conviviality business had “changed the dynamic of the business by giving it unparalleled access to the profitable on-trade channel”.

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