JD Wetherspoon has acquired four former Laurel leasehold pubs that were placed in administration for a nil premium – and is looking at buying a further five, writes Paul Charity. The company has acquired a Bar Med in Bournemouth, a Bar Med in Shrewsbury, a Hogshead in Weymouth, and a Slug & Lettuce in Oxford. The Bournemouth Bar Med venue has a rent of £113,000 per annum, while the Shrewsbury site carries a rent of £90,000. The Weymouth Hogshead site has the lowest rent of 10 Hogshead sites in administration, with a rent of just £35,000 per annum, compared to the next lowest which is Hull with a rent of £50,000 per annum. The Slug & Lettuce in Oxford has a rent of £170,000 per annum. The acquisitions will give JD Wetherspoon a second venue in a number of the towns, although the Oxford site is its first in the city centre. Its other Oxford pub is in Cowley. Chief executive John Hutson said the cost of converting the four sites to JDW venues would be in excess of £1m. The normal fit-out cost for one leasehold site is £1.1m. He said: “The fixtures and fittings have been taken at these sites, which are in varying states of disrepair. The fit-out might cost a bit more than £1m altogether for the four sites. "They are fairly fully rented – that’s the main risk.” Hutson said the company had moved quickly on the first four venues because they had attracted a fair amount of interest. The other sites the company is looking at have had less interest from rival bidders.