Kent-based pub and beer company Shepherd Neame is today toasting its acquisition strategy after the family business took over eight home counties pubs owned by Enterprise Inns.
The UK's oldest brewer announced today it had exchanged contracts for the Enterprise freehold pubs based in Kent, Sussex and Surrey.
In a separate transaction, the company also reached an agreement for five pubs based in Canterbury and Faversham, which are currently operated under tenancy by UES Ltd, to transfer over to its managed estate.
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Both agreements with Enterprise and UES are expected to complete within four weeks and, taken together, will amount to a £13.4m investment.
Upon completion, Shepherd Neame's total pub headcount will be 336, of which 270 are tenanted and leased and 59 will be operated under management.
In mid-May, Enterprise Inns announced it was looking to offload up to 22 of its commercial sites in the coming months to "crystallise and capture value" from its huge estate. Enterprise has investments in around 5,000 pubs in the UK and has plans to sell around 20 per cent of its pubs (around 1,000) over the next five years.
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."