Shepherd Neame raises glass to Enterprise Inns home counties pubs acquisition

Francesca Washtell
Follow Francesca
GBR: Binge Drinking Causes Health and Anti Social Concerns
Bottoms up to Shepherd Neame's acquisition strategy (Source: Getty)

Britain's oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, has completed the acquisition of seven out of eight pubs from pubco Enterprise Inns.

The Kent-based brewer, pub and hotel operator has purchased the seven pubs in Kent, Sussex and Surrey from Enterprise in a deal that was announced earlier in June.

The completion takes Shepherd Neame's total number of pubs to 335, of which 59 are operated under management, 269 are lease-tenanted and seven are under commercial free of tie leases.

Read more: Struggling pubs will be hit by new venture capital rules

Shepherd Neame said the takeover of the eighth home counties pub is still expected to complete "in due course".

The new pubs are the Chequer Inn in Steyning, West Sussex, the Crown & Anchor in Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex, The Farm House in West Malling, Kent, The Greyhound in Keston, Kent, Hen & Chickens in Bisley, Surrey, The Kings Head in Guildford, Surrey and The Sussex Oak in Warnham, West Sussex.

All the pubs will continue to operate under their current leases.

Read more: Posh pub group Upham brews £12m listing

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.

Shepherd Neame recently 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.