The new pub venture from serial sector entrepreneurs David Bruce and Clive Watson could reach 30 to 40 sites or more within the next couple of years, founding investor John Roberts has told M&C Report. Their new businesses City Pub Company (East) and City Pub Company (West) each aim to raise £2m of equity during the current tax year via Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). The figure could rise up £8m-£10m from April 2012 depending on changes to EIS rules. Roberts, former managing director of Fuller’s Beer Company and a non executive director of the new pub companies, said between 30 and 40 and “maybe more” sites could operate under the businesses within the next couple of years. “We won’t be like kids in a sweet shop. We will be cautious with the sites we get,” said Roberts. “We would aim to have 80% freehold but we could get some leases if they have very sensible rents.” Roberts said pubs in “cathedral cities and red-brick university towns and cities” would be targeted. City Pub Company (East) would focus on wet-led pubs, while its sister company would be more food-led. Watson and Bruce were the founders of Capital Pubs, which eventually comprised an estate of 34 pubs in the capital and was sold to Greene King for an enterprise value of £93m in July this year. Roberts said: “We are confident that there are lots of investors there already to back David and Clive following their venture with Capital.” Meanwhile, Roberts, who left Fuller’s in March this year, added that he’s looking to take on other projects in the industry, which could include a chief executive role.