LAW firm Watson Burton advised Teesside pub operator Wear Inns on the acquisition of nine pubs from Tattershall Castle Group (TCG), which will result in the creation of 40 jobs.
Business Growth Fund (BGF) – established to help fast-growing smaller and medium-sized businesses – put in £8m, and NVM Private Equity invested £2m of growth capital in the Billingham-based company. BGF will take a minority stake in the business and join the board.
John Weir and John Sands, both veterans of pub groups including Pubmaster, founded the firm in 2006 to buy and run community pubs across the North East and Yorkshire. It has 15 sites and is using the investment to complete the purchase of six more in the North East and three in Yorkshire in the next month.
The newly acquired premises include The Bedroom in Whitley Bay, The Black Bull in Morpeth, Greens in Sunderland, Lambton Arms in Chester-le-Street, Ye Olde Lang Jack in Whickham, The Ship and Royal in South Shields, Lloyds Arms in Grimsby, Porter Cottage in Sheffield and The White Bear in Barnsley.
Watson Burton provided Wear Inns with a multi-disciplined team in order to complete the acquisition of new premises. Led by corporate partner Duncan Reid, the team drafted and negotiated the terms and conditions of the acquisition agreement, managed the purchase of properties and provided advice in relation to employment. Duncan was assisted by corporate associate Paul Wigham, employment partner David Jenkins and real estate associate Michael Shuker.
Duncan Reid said: ‘‘Wear Inns has a proven track record as a fast growing regional business with a highly motivated management team. The key to the success of the company is their ability to acquire and manage pubs under the Wear Inns brand whilst retaining the individuality of the community where each pub is located. This has proven to be a successful strategy for the team which has resulted in substantial growth since 2006. We are extremely pleased to have been able to advise Wear Inns over the years as they have expanded the business and look forward observing its future growth.’’
John Weir, managing director of Wear Inns, said: “We are highly delighted to acquire this package of well known pubs, with some iconic sites in areas that we know very well. The pubs will complement our existing business and enhance our growth strategy.
“All of the pubs are planned to receive capital investment and some new retail trading formats in the near future; with a clear emphasis on standards, service and exceptional retailing.
“Duncan Reid, Paul Wigham and the team from Watson Burton have been great supporters of our growth strategy for a number of years and have proved to be invaluable in helping us implement our expansion plans.
“Their first-rate technical expertise in drafting and negotiating our acquisition agreements ensured the best possible outcome for our business and we are extremely happy with the results.”