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Fuller’s offloads 37 pubs to Admiral Taverns

Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C. has agreed to the sale of 37 freehold pubs to Admiral Taverns, with it anticipated that the disposal will be completed within the next month.

According to Fuller’s, the cash sale proceeds for the portfolio will be £18.3 million (a premium of £1.6m to the gross asset value of £16.7m) – the 37 pubs reportedly generated £1.3m in pre-tax profit in the year to 30 March 2024.

“The proceeds from the sale will further strengthen the company’s balance sheet, enabling additional investment in its pubs, as well as supporting future acquisition opportunities, as appropriate,” a statement from Fuller’s explained.

The next full trading update from Fuller’s is expected on 13 June (for the 52 weeks to 30 March), almost two weeks before the sale is expected to cross the line. The previous trading update for the 42 weeks to 20 January 2024 revealed that the operator had enjoyed a strong Christmas and New Year, with sales 21.6% up on the same period the year before.

While the precise list of the pubs that have been sold has not been revealed, it is understood that they are in London and the Home Counties.

“I’m delighted to welcome our new licensees to the Admiral team, and we’re excited by the opportunity to develop these pubs in partnership together,” commented Admiral Taverns CEO Chris Jowsey. “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, supporting community pubs to thrive. These 37 pubs are an excellent acquisition for our business, increasing our reach in the South East of the UK.”

The sale takes the number of Admiral Taverns-owned pubs in the South East to 300. Once the sale is finalised, Fuller’s will have 154 pubs within its Tenanted Inns Division, and 179 properties in its Managed Pubs and Hotels Division.

“Despite the complexities of the macro-economic environment, across our estate we are seeing community pubs, and specifically wet-led establishments, maintaining their popularity amongst locals as people continue to enjoy going out for an affordable treat with family and friends. Wet-led, community pubs have demonstrated real resilience over recent times, and we remain optimistic that our nurturing ethos, entrepreneurial licensees and high-quality estate continues to position the group well to be at the forefront of opportunities in our wider market,” Jowsey concluded.

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