Fuller’s agrees £18m deal to sell 37 pubs to Admiral Taverns

  • Fuller’s revealed it would sell sites from its tenanted and managed inns arm
  • Admiral’s estate will also expand to over 1,400 predominantly wet-led pubs 

Fuller, Smith & Turner has agreed to offload dozens of pubs to Admiral Taverns for £18.3million.

The west London brewer and pub group told investors on Wednesday it would sell 37 sites from its tenanted and managed inns division to the Chester-based firm at a premium of £1.6million to its gross asset value.

Fuller’s said the disposal would bolster its balance sheet, and support investment in its existing pub estate and future deals.

Acquisition deal: Fuller, Smith & Turner has agreed to offload dozens of pubs to Chester-based Admiral Taverns for £18.3million

Once the deal is finalised, which is expected on 25 June, Fuller’s portfolio will consist of 154 tenanted inns and 179 managed pubs and hotels.

Admiral’s estate will also expand to over 1,400 predominantly wet-led pubs across the UK, with around 300 of them situated in the south east of England.

The business has expanded significantly via acquisitions since the private equity firm Proprium Capital Partners first invested in Admiral alongside Magners owner C&C Group seven years ago.

It has bought sites from fellow pub giant Marston’s and Heineken UK’s hospitality arm Star Pubs & Bars, and acquired over 650 Hawthorn pubs from NewRiver REIT in 2021 for £222.3million.

Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral, said: ‘Recent years have seen Admiral build a strong track record in delivering profitable growth across our estate, underpinned by continuous targeted investment to unlock new opportunities.’

The acquisition deal follows a very strong trading period for Fuller’s, which saw like-for-like revenues increase by 11.5 per cent in the 42 weeks ending 20 January.

It enjoyed a bumper Christmas and New Year performance, having lost millions in sales during the same time the previous year due to railway workers taking industrial action.

Analysts at broker Liberum said the business has further benefited from the return of tourists and financial sector workers.

Fuller’s said it is ‘committed to owning and operating both managed and tenanted pubs as an integral part of the company’s future strategy’.

It added: ‘However, the company proactively manages its pub estate, continually evaluating strategic opportunities and believes that the disposal of this portfolio to Admiral allows the company to focus on the development of its retained managed and tenanted estates.’

Fuller, Smith & Turner shares were 0.3 per cent lower at £7.08 on late Wednesday morning, but have still grown by about 32 per cent over the past year.

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