City Pub Company, the Clive Watson-led group, has appointed advisors as its gears up for an IPO before the end of this year, MCA has learnt.

In a letter sent to the c35-strong company’s shareholders seen by MCA, the group said it had appointed Nomad Liberum as joint brokers with Berenberg to work on a possible flotation on AIM. The company is understood to looking to raise between £25m to £30m from the process.

As part of the IPO process the business is thought to be currently looking to get shareholder approval to amalgamate its two trading vehicles, City Pub Co East and City Pub Co West into one company - The City Pub Group

At the same time, the currently EIS-backed business has made its first move in the West Country with the acquisition of the Old Fire House in Exeter.

It is understood that turnover for both companies (East and West) for the first eight months of the year to the end of August was up 32%, which the group described as “very encouraging”.

Recent openings in City Pub Co East have happened at the Waterman in Cambridge and the Grapes in Oxford and the company said they were “really pleased” with how the new openings have been received.

City Pub Co West opened the Walrus, Brighton (formerly Smugglers) in June after a significant refurbishment. The company said it anticipated further improvement on the trade at the site which is already very encouraging.

City Pub Co West also acquired the aforementioned Old Fire House in Exeter and is “very pleased with its levels of trading”.

It is thought that a number of pubs / developments are already in legals.

The company hopes to build up an estate of around 50 pubs by the end of 2019.