Tim Martin, the founder and chairman of the managed pub chain JD Wetherspoon, has admitted the group could change strategy and be tempted into the bulk buying of pubs. The group has previously said that it intends to open 50 new sites in the current year and has recently engaged in a site by site expansion. However, in an interview with Reuters, Martin said: “If someone comes along and gives me a ring with 50 or a 100 good freehold pubs to sell I'll be there. “Site by site has proved better for us but we've got the money to spend with £100m free cash flow last year and substantial bank facilities." JDW refinanced its bank loan last month and has a new non-amortising £530m facility, which matures in four years and is significantly bigger than its older £435m facility. In a note ahead of the group’s interim management statement on 6 May a City analyst has also suggested that now is the time for the group to capitalise on expansion. Jamie Rollo at Morgan Stanley said JDW was generating substantially higher returns on acquisitions – because of a 26% fall in freehold pubs since 2008 and cutting the cost of the average development by 50% to £820,000. Rollo said: “Given softness in commercial property markets, a lack of competition from other buyers and the possibility of taking over leases at no premium (and in some cases of negotiating rents downward) the company is now converting more former pubs into Wetherspoons. “Wetherspoon has demonstrated consistent innovation and strong customer value, and we think these are likely to drive continued market share gains throughout 2010. "Given the rollout strategy, we see no reason why it cannot return to generating the 20%-type growth rates that it has for the last 20 years, and the shares are trading on just 9x free cash flow per share.”