Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns, has acquired a stake in PubLove – the five-strong London-based pub group, MCA understands.

The Ben Stackhouse-led group becomes the seventh partnership under EiG’s Managed Expert programme.

The company said it had “ambitious expansion plans” for PubLove as well as investment plans for the existing pubs – four of which are already leased from EiG.

Stackhouse said: “Having worked closely with Ei Group for many years, we’re delighted to be partnering with their Managed Investments business. With their experience and access to a strong pipeline of new sites, this is a great opportunity for PubLove as we look to expand.”

Nathan Wall, operations director for Ei Managed Investments, said: “PubLove is an exciting proposition with its focus on establishing sustainable community pubs. We’re delighted to be part of its expansion and we look forward to a successful working relationship with Ben and his team.”

Ei Group has already partnered with seasoned operators such as Rupert Clevely, Oakman Inns and the Laine Pub Company, but has previously created new companies run as a joint venture.

Since launch in May 2015, and with the PubLove partnership, there will now be a total of 21 pubs operating as part of Ei Managed Investments.

PubLove was established in 2007 by Stackhouse and combines boutique hostels with historic pubs. It operates its Burger Craft kitchens across its estate.

Two of its sites - the White Ferry House in Victoria and the Crown in Battersea will be significantly refurbished later this year.