JD Wetherspoon, the managed pub operator, is buying three hotels as part of its plan to open 50 pubs a year for the next five years, writes Paul Charity. The company has completed on the Pheonix Hotel in Dereham, Norfolk, which has 20 bedrooms, for an undisclosed price. It has also bought the Foley Arms Hotel in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, from Allied Investment Partners. Wetherspoon is also ex-pecting to complete a deal shortly to buy the Swan Hotel in Leighton Buzzard’s high street. Meanwhile, Wetherspoon, is in the early stages of a deal to buy the Conservative Club in Bourtree Place, Hawick, in the Scottish borders, for conversion to a pub. Tim Martin, JDW founder and chairman, has admitted the group could change strategy and be tempted into the bulk buying of pubs. 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.”