Shepherd Neame has announced the acquisition of eight pubs from Enterprise Inns.

Separately, the Kent-based brewer and pub operator has also reached an agreement for five of its pubs, in Canterbury and Faversham, currently operated under tenancy by UES Ltd to transfer to its managed estate. UES owners Dan Sidders and Gareth Finney will now join the Shepherd Neame managed head office team to develop these and other pubs further.

In an announcement to the city this afternoon, Shepherd Neame also updated on trading for the 49 weeks to 4 June.

Like-for-like sales in managed houses were up 4.6% and like-for-like EBITDAR in the tenanted estate for the 48 weeks to 28 May was up 2.4%. Own beer volumes excluding contract were down 0.7%. The group said the results for the year ending 25 June are anticipated to be in line with market expectations.

The Enterprise package comprises eight freehold pubs in Kent, Sussex and Surrey currently operated under lease. Representatives from Shepherd Neame will be meeting with the licensees over the next few days to discuss transitional arrangements and future investment plans.

The company said: “These assets are all high quality pubs in line with our strategy to acquire sites with unique character in landmark or high profile locations, to invest in them to drive footfall and to develop the offer to enhance the customer experience.

Both these transactions are expected to complete within four weeks, and taken together, the company will invest £13.4m. Upon completion the total number of pubs in the estae will be 336, of which 59 will be operated under management and 270 as tenanted and leased with seven under commercial free of tie leases.

Chief Executive, Jonathan Neame said: “We are delighted to end another successful year with these excellent opportunities to enhance the quality and profile of our pub estate and to bring new skills in to the team.

“We look forward to working with our new partners and see exciting investment opportunities to help build each of their businesses further.

“We also welcome Dan and Gareth to the team. We have long admired their impressive standards of service and imaginative and high quality food skills and greatly look forward to working with them in the future.”

On joining Shepherd Neame, Finney said: “Dan and I have enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with Shepherd Neame as long standing tenants. We have benefited from investment, training and a broad range of support programmes to build a very successful business. We are excited to be joining the retail team.”

The five pubs currently operated by UES are: The Albion Taverna and The Limes in Faversham, Kent; The Shakespeare, The Parrot and Ye Olde Beverlie in Canterbury, Kent.

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