Rockpool Investments, the Chicago Rib Shack backer, is supporting a new pub company to be operated by a group of former Peach Pubs employees, M&C Report has learnt.

Steve Thomas, the former head of Luminar, told M&C Report he had helped with the initial connections for the creation of Epic Pub Company, which aims to transform underperforming pubs in the south east into gastropubs.

Andrew Coath, who was a managing partner at Peach Pubs until January, is managing director at the new company and has been joined by Jonathan Taylor – who briefly worked as cluster general manager at Oakman Inn after leaving Peach in February – as group operations director. Mark Austin, who was senior head chef at Peach until March, is installed as group chef director.

The group is seeking £4.25m in EIS-qualifying shares to fund the acquisition and refurbishment of four freehold pubs in the south east. Its aim is reposition them so that ultimately 60% of total revenue comes from food sales.

Rockpool has said the intention is to deliver an exit for all investors by selling the company to a larger group shortly after the end of the three-year EIS period.