Hartford Group has acquired Henry J Beans, the bar and grill chain, for £5.8m, including £2.2m in debt. Stephen Thomas, chairman of Hartford, said: "Henry J Beans has stood the test of time in a constantly changing marketplace and has significant expansion potential." The acquisition has been financed from a new debt facility provided by Barclays Bank and will be immediately earnings enhancing for the financial year just started. Henry J Beans, which is 75% wet-led, has five managed outlets in the UK, in Chelsea and Camden in London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham and has franchise agreements in Europe, South America and the Far East. In the year to 27 March, Henry J Beans delivered turnover of £5.8m, generating £1.3m of site Ebitda and £600,000 of overall operating profit. Net assets of the group were £692,000 as at 27 March, or £2.995m, excluding third party debt. Douglas Smillie, the current managing director of Henry J Beans, will be remaining with the enlarged group. James Kowszun, Hartford’s chief executive, said: "I’m a big fan of brands and I don’t think there are many real brands in the industry. Henry J Beans is a great business, which is not into discounting or focussing on late night, it’s just an easy to understand business." The brand is expected to be integrated within three months, when Hartford expects to start building its estate in the UK. Kowszun said that the brand had potential in "every town south of Birmingham with a college or a cathedral". Kowszun added that the company saw "huge potential" for Henry J Beans’ international franchising business. Hartford said that trading had continued to be strong over the second half of the financial year and with 51 weeks of the financial year completed, comparable sales were 3.7% ahead of last year.