Anglian Country Inns is to examine its options this year as it seeks to fund the next stage of its growth, MCA understands.

The Nye family has grown the estate to nine sites through cash-flow and bank debt, while the Farmhouse at Redcoats was funded through senior debt from Downing LLP. That bridging loan expires in June and the family is now considering what investment options would best support its growth plans.

It comes on the back of work to strengthen the organisational structure, with Mike Procopakis formerly of Bel & The Dragon in an operations manager role and a focus on a culture of succession planning throughout the business.

Managing director James Nye told MCA: “Downing have been great to work with and we’d certainly like to do more projects with them. What we’re looking at now is what structure is right for that next chapter of our story.

“I think we have now hit the kind of size that we are attracting attention from some interesting parties. It just depends what is right for the business as a whole.”

He added: “There are three things you need for growth – sites, finance and people. We have done a lot of work on the last one and the property market is now starting to heat up, with some good value stuff likely to come on to the market. That leaves finance as the other key pillar.”

In its most recent financial results, for the year to 31 March 2018, the group reported 4.1% like-for-like sales growth, with revenue up 6% to £11m.

Site EBITDA was up 29% to £1.8m with pre-tax profits increasing to £186,000 – from £77,000 in 2017.