Admiral Taverns Acquires Hawthorn

The Board of Admiral Taverns, has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, from NewRiver REIT PLC (“NewRiver”). The nationwide portfolio of 674 pubs is comprised of a mixture of predominately tenanted, leased and operator managed sites across England, Wales and Scotland.

The acquisition is a continuation of Admiral’s growth strategy to expand its wet-led community pub portfolio and will take the Group’s estate to over 1,600 pubs.  It will be funded through debt provided by Admiral’s current lenders, together with capital provided by existing investor, Proprium Capital Partners.

This latest acquisition builds on the Group’s successful track record of acquiring, integrating and developing sustainable tenanted pub businesses, underpinned by its award-winning and licensee-centric approach.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chris Jowsey, Chief Executive of Admiral Taverns said:

“This is one of the biggest acquisitions by Admiral to date and delivers on our strategy to build our estate to 1,500 sustainable pubs. It is a really exciting step forward for the business and we remain committed to the supportive partnership model, which is highly regarded by licensees.

“Our wet-led, community focused, supportive culture is very much shared by Hawthorn and I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome our new licensees and colleagues to Admiral. The acquisition has allowed us to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs which we look forward to developing through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.”

During the pandemic Admiral has consistently championed its community pubs, offering significant rent aid and reopening support as well as lobbying the government on key issues such as hospitality grants, reducing Business Rates and VAT, and economic support for the hospitality sector.

Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, said:

“Throughout our sale and IPO process, we have been blown away by the high level of interest that has been expressed in Hawthorn, which is testament to the high-quality business we’ve built and the quality of our people. Every investor that we met with during the process who got to know Hawthorn spoke very highly of the pubs we own, the way we run our business, and the people within the company.

“In a few short years, Hawthorn has become one of the most well-respected pub-owning companies in the UK, with a best-in-class operating platform, a high-quality management team, and industry-leading licensee satisfaction scores.

“As CEO of this business, it is a privilege and honour to serve alongside you all. I’ve always said that the strength of this business is its people, and I’d like to thank every single member of our team, for the fun, challenges and achievements we’ve shared together. When we created a community pub company seven years ago, little did we know we would be recognised at the top of our brilliant industry in such a short space of time as a leading L&T and Operator-Managed pub company and we can all be very proud.

“The last 18 months have shown just how vital the community pub is to the social fabric of this country, and I’m incredibly proud of the role we have played in helping our Pub Partners and Operators not just survive this most challenging period, but to also ensure they’ve been able to come out stronger on the other side.

“Chris and the Admiral team will inherit more than 670 thriving community pubs and a fantastic group of highly committed, loyal and talented people, and we wish them and the new owners every success for the future.”