Chris and Delia Chapman, the Chapman Group founders, has set up a new pub company from the seven pubs not sold to Dominion Hospitality, MCA has learnt.

Chris Chapman told MCA they were currently in negotiations on a further three pubs to add to his estate and would gradually build the estate up from there.

The new company will be called South Coast Inns and will be predominantly based in the south west but looking to expand further.

Chapman said of the deal, which saw 28 pubs sold to the Stellex Capital affiliate: “We thought it was time to make ourselves smaller. It’s like being at the roulette table – you’re in a good position, so do you quit or do you chance it all by rolling again.

“We are still very keen to expand but it won’t be getting up to the level we were at before.

“I have a radius clause so I can’t go within eight miles of anywhere I’ve sold so inevitably we’ll be going into new areas.”