REL Capital, the turnaround specialist led by Andy Scott, has withdrawn its interests in the pub sector, after a short-lived re-entry into the market with two Chelsea pubs, MCA understands.

REL acquired a long-lease of The Pig’s Ear, which Frank Lampard owns the freehold of, and has now been renamed the Chelsea Pig; as well as The Chelsea Lodge, formerly Tutto Mare, which was acquired out of administration from Ross Inns, in 2018.

REL has now withdrawn this investment, which came under Rel Pub Company, and has since been renamed Chelsea Pubs Lts under director Chase McGuiness.

The new company decided to surrender back the Chelsea Pig lease and assign the Chelsea Lodge lease, which continues to trade.

Chelsea Pubs is now being liquidated under Lane Bednash of CMB Partners UK, with REL Capital the creditors.

Scott, a resident of Malta, told MCA: “We are focusing on distressed and turnaround opportunities. So if a group comes up we can buy from administration we are keen to look at it, especially with an element of late night.

“But with current business rate regime and licensing restrictions, we are quite nervous on the sector profitability wise, although continue to work alongside pubcos for the development of their surplus land.”

Scott is currently involved in a joint venture with Hawthorn Leisure to develop surplus land and homes on its estate.

Rel Pub Co, founded in 2008, previously operated venues in Berkshire, Bristol, Eastleigh in Hampshire and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

REL has 10 companies under management in the leisure, events, recruitment, construction and transport sectors.