Longshot, the business led by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors, has taken Bel & The Dragon, its seven-strong, premium country inn business, off the market, after completing a £5.3m debt finance deal.

The company placed Bel & The Dragon on the market last September through Grant Thornton. MCA understands that the business generated story interest from a number of trade buyers, but that none were able to match Longshot’s valuation of the business, which it acquired when it was four-strong from Orchid Group in August 2010 for c£4m.

Longshot has secured the new funding, which it will use to refinance the inn group’s current debt facilities, raise growth capital to increase its bedrooms from 47 to 61, and for working capital purposes, from OakNorth.

Bel & The Dragon currently operates sites across Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire, located in Cookham, Churt, Godalming, Kingsclere, Odiham, Reading and Windsor.

Cadbury, chief executive and co-founder of Longshot, said: “Whether joining us for lunch, tea, dinner, or even spending the night, we aim to make our guests feel at home, so are delighted to have secured this loan which will enable us to accommodate even more visitors.

“We have obviously dealt with quite a few banks in the past and can safely say that this experience was like no other – the team at OakNorth were incredibly entrepreneurial, willing to think outside of the box and burn the midnight oil to get the deal done!”

Deepesh Thakrar, debt finance director at OakNorth Bank, said: “Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors are born entrepreneurs with an exciting and diverse track record of starting, scaling and exiting numerous successful and unique businesses. Along with Hector Ross, COO of Longshot Country Inns, they have built an incredibly strong portfolio and we look forward to working with the team on more deals in the future.”