Tadcaster Pub Company said it had met its target of acquiring 55 pubs three months ahead of schedule with the £700,000 acquisition of the Thorn Tree at Wood Linkin, near Ilkeston, Derbyshire. The group said that it expected to reach 60 sites by the end of the year. The purchase – the company’s single most expensive acquisition to date - gives the operator a presence in Derbyshire for the first time. It means the estate now stretches across ten regions from Northumberland to Staffordshire. James Crawfurd-Porter, the group’s managing director, said: "Achieving year-end targets is always satisfactory, but to do so with three full months to spare represents a tremendous achievement. "After effectively doubling our estate year-on-year in our first three years, we marked 2005 as a year for consolidation. We have added value to our business with targeted investment at existing houses whilst purchasing new outlets, all of which were hand-picked for their trade potential." Tadcaster Pub Company purchased the Thorn Tree from a private developer who extensively refurbished the property prior to sale.