Wiltshire-based pubco and brewer Wadworth has announced the sale of 21 pubs to Liberation Group.

The sites, sold for an undisclosed sum, are primarily in Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Wiltshire, and comprise more than a tenth of Wadworth’s estate across the south west and London.

The news follows a restructure in Wadworth’s senior team last week, with chief executive Chris Welham departing his role and Toby Bartholomew, son of chairman Charles Bartholomew, taking over leadership of the group as managing director.

Commenting on the sale, Charles Bartholomew said the business would be working with teams in each pub to enable a seamless transition to Liberation over the next four weeks.

“All Wadworth employees in the managed sites will transfer to Liberation under TUPE,” he said. “I am in no doubt that these pubs will continue to thrive under their new ownership and remain central to the local communities that they serve.”

“We have worked closely with Wadworth to ensure that the sites we’re bringing into the Liberation Group family are the best fit for us and that the transition is smooth and successful,” added Liberation CEO Jonathan Lawson.

“With the support of Caledonia, our ultimate shareholder, we look forward to maximising the opportunities we believe these sites present via a blended approach to the offer and environment of these pubs delivered by their great teams.”

The sale follows that of 18 Wadworth leased and tenanted pubs to Red Oak Taverns in August 2019.

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