Owners of The City Pub Company – Clive Watson, David Bruce and John Roberts – are looking to raise £100m to purchase 50 pubs in England’s major cities, it emerged yesterday.
“The pubs are going to be individual free-houses in the great cities of England: Bristol, Bath, Norwich, Birmingham, Manchester and London. All un-branded and all catering to their local markets,” Clive Watson told City A.M..
The three entrepreneurs – who are being advised by Ram Capital – are seeking to raise £75m from both institutions and wealthy individuals over the course of three years, and a further £25m of debt, in order to establish the £100m buy-out fund. It will be set up under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
And Watson believes parliament’s decision last week to remove the controversial “beer-tie” will play into the trio’s hands by increasing the number of quality pubs on the market. “As a result of the House of Commons vote, there will be more opportunity because the pub chains and brewers will have to start selling off some of their pubs. We were going to do this anyway, but this has added to the opportunity,” he said.