SA Brain To Sell 99 Freehold 99 Pubs

Welsh brewer SA Brain has placed a 99-strong freehold pub portfolio on the market, and has appointed property advisers Avison Young to market the pubs, which are operated by Marston’s.

Documents filed with Companies House for the group’s financial year to 28 September 2019 detail how an advisor is set to be appointed to oversee the sale, with “significant interest” already generated and “a number” of off-market offers already received.

According to the group’s strategic report, its deal with Marston’s last year and restructuring provided “relative certainty over the results for the group and the portfolio estate. This enables the group to focus on its strategic outlook of firstly maximise the realisation of cash from the sales of assets in order to repay the bank debt and other financial obligations.

It is thought the company will also consider options for the remaining circa 55 pubs not included in the investment portfolio being marketed.

In May, the company completed a revised financing arrangement with its banking partners, with heads of terms signed for a £76.4m term loan, with a repayment period of two-and-a-half years and a margin of 3.55%, subject to debt reduction.

A statement said: “The directors have sought external advice on the approach and are moving into a process which will see an experienced advisor being appointed to execute the sale of the core 99 group pubs. Significant interest has been generated with a number of off-market offers being received for a number of ‘packages’ of assets and single asset sales, a number of which have been moved to Heads of Terms, giving the directors confidence in the ability to fulfil this initial strategic goal.”