Fri, 10 Mar 2023 | COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Pub group Marston’s has announced that it has put 61 non-core pubs up for sale, as major operators in the sector continue to streamline their operations. The 61 sites are a mix of leased, tenanted, retail and managed pubs.
Specialist property agent Christie & Co has been engaged to market the sites for sale, with the pubs available to purchase individually, in small groups or as a group package. 10 of the properties are in Wales, with the remainder situated across England.
Commenting on the sale, Marston’s Estates head Judith Rafique said: “Following a routine review of our estate we have taken the decision to offer to market a varied range of property types. This enables us to focus on our strategic objectives and maximise returns from our core estate.”
Christie & Co Pubs and Restaurants corporate senior director Noel Moffitt added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals and multiple operators to acquire established successful public houses across England and Wales.”
“The pub sector has been very resilient over the last few years and has adapted well to the challenges, and despite interest in the sector, there is a lack of properties on the market. This portfolio offers new entrants and existing operators a wonderful opportunity to acquire investments or operate their own businesses.”
The sale comes amid ongoing M&A activity within the pub sector as operators adjust to headwinds, including rising food and drink prices, soaring energy bills, the continuing fallout from COVID-19 and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on customer sentiment.
In February, the UK’s largest pub company, Stonegate Group, was reported to have put around 1,000 sites up for sale as it looked to raise approximately £800 million to pay off some of its debts. Last year, numerous pub companies, including Marston’s and rival Wetherspoons, announced plans to sell off portfolios of pubs.
Despite this, Marston’s has continued to trade strongly, reporting in a January trading update that its sales had increased by 12.9 per cent over the festive period and that it was aiming to hit £1 billion in sales, while reducing its debt to below £1 billion.
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