Leading Channel Islands pub group raises glass to £118m takeover by Caledonia Investments

Francesca Washtell
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The Cock & Bottle is one of Liberation's Jersey-based pubs (Source: Liberation Group)

Caledonia Investments completed its deal to gulp up leading Channel Islands pub owner and brewer The Liberation Group today for a tasty £118m.

Liberation was previously owned by LGV Capital, a branch of Legal and General, before Caledonia backed a management buyout led by the pub group’s chief executive and finance director.

The company, founded in 2008, operates 96 pubs in the Channel Islands and South West of England, two breweries in Jersey and Bristol, and three wholesale drinks businesses.

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It is eyeing further expansion, which Caledonia has said it will back with £40m of funding.

“We are delighted to partner with Caledonia for the next phase of Liberation Group’s development,” said Mark Crowther, chief executive of Liberation.

“We have a strong growth agenda in train and Caledonia has committed significant capital funding to facilitate the group’s continued expansion as we continue to invest in – and grow – our pub and brewing operations.”

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Liberation made £1.9m in pretax profit last year, while it had £113m in gross assets on its books.

It acquired the Butcombe Brewery and pubs business located near Bristol as a platform for further expansion in the UK in December 2014.

Butcombe now owns 22 pubs in the West Country in village and suburban locations.

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