Historic Wiltshire brewer Wadworth is selling 21 of its pubs to Liberation Group’s Bristol-based subsidiary Butcombe for an undisclosed sum.
The pubs being sold are based in Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Worcestershire.
Liberation said it would finance the cost of the acquisition with a new equity investment from its ultimate shareholder, Caledonia Investments plc.
Liberation also said it intended to invest “substantial capital” into many of the businesses to support future growth.
Jonathan Lawson, chief executive of Liberation Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome the teams of these fantastic pubs to Butcombe and have worked closely with Wadworth to ensure a smooth transition.
“We have ambitious plans for these businesses and look forward to a successful future together.”
Mr Lawson said the challenges posed by Covid-19 continued to be “substantial” but had not impacted the company’s longer-term plans.
He said the acquisition was in line with a strategy to grow Butcombe’s presence in the West Country by buying up predominantly freehold pubs with accommodation.
He added: “We have been encouraged by the strength of Liberation’s trading performance post-lockdown, up to and including October half term, with our managed pubs successfully offsetting the impact of lower drink revenues with double-digit food and accommodation growth.
“The strength of Liberation’s recovery is a direct reflection of the inherent quality and relative positioning of Liberation’s portfolio of businesses and the unrelenting dedication and passion of our colleagues throughout this immensely challenging period.
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The deal will add an extra 140 rooms to the Liberation Group’s managed estate, taking the total number of rooms to 223.
The news comes a year after Devizes-based Wadworth, which was founded by Henry A Wadworth in 1875, announced its intention to move to an edge-of-town location.
The historic brewer operates more than 150 pubs in the UK and is most famous for 6X beer, which has been brewed at the site since 1923.
Wadworth sites being sold off
- The Bird in Hand, Reading, Berkshire
- The Fox & Hounds, Theale, Berkshire
- Badminton Arms, Coalpit Heath, Bristol
- The Penny Farthing, Bristol
- Avon Causeway, Christchurch, Dorset
- The Goat & Tricycle, Bournemouth, Dorset
- The Dean Park Inn, Bournemouth, Dorset
- The Fleet Inn, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
- Beckford Inn, Beckford, Gloucestershire
- High Corner, Ringwood, Hampshire
- The Fish Inn, Ringwood, Hampshire
- The Beehive, Carterton, Oxfordshire
- The Victoria Arms, Old Marston, Oxfordshire
- The Cotswold Gateway Hotel, Burford, Oxfordshire
- The Fleur de Lys, near Bath, Somerset
- The George Inn, near Bath, Somerset
- The Mill, Haslemere, Surrey
- The Kings Arms Hotel, Melksham, Wiltshire
- The White Hart, Wroughton, Wiltshire
- The Crown Inn, Dyrham, Wiltshire
- Hadley Bowling Green, Hadley Heath, Worcestershire