City Pub Company, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)-funded pub operator, has secured two flagship central London sites and an extra £7m in banking facilities as it looks to exceed its 2014 rollout target.
Dalys Wine Bar on The Strand and Bierschenke, a German Beer House on nearby Essex Street, have been secured for undisclosed sums. The former will undergo refurbishment and Bierschenke will be rebranded Bier Palast but will remain as a German beer house, although featuring some English beers. Investments in the sites will total c£250,000, chief executive Clive Watson told M&C Report.
“They are in a great location and they are iconic sites,” he said. “We wanted to be on the strand and we just thought this was a really good opportunity. I’ve known these sites for a long long time. I’m delighted that we’ve finally got our hands on them both.”
The acquisitions take City Pub Company, which was founded by Clive Watson and David Bruce of Capital Pub Company, to 15 sites. They are the first since City completed its £10m fundraising target in December.
City Pub Company has secured a further £7m in a revolving facility from Barclays to exceed its earlier rollout target of 20 pubs by the end of 2014. “We’re confident we will exceed 20 by the end of this year,” said Watson.
Watson said there would not be a new EIS fund raising this year and he reiterated the possibility of flotation on AIM at some point.
“I think we’ve achieved a whole lot in the last few years but we’re still a fairly young company so I think we’re got enough to keep us busy for the next 18 months in terms of finance and acquisitions, and then we’ll review it in 2015.”
Watson said trading this year so far has been “very good”. Sales at the Phene in Chelsea are up 35% on this time last year, he pointed out.
The two new acquisitions will become part of City Pub Company (East).
Paul Tallentyre at Davis Coffer Lyons acted on the Dalys deal.