24 North East & Yorkshire Pubs Bought in Rescue deal by Punch Pubs & Co

A portfolio of 24 pubs across the North East and Yorkshire has been snapped up from administrators in a multimillion-pound rescue deal. Business Live is reporting that administrators at Interpath Advisory were last November called into Milton Portfolio Property 3 Ltd – the owner of the Millstone Hotel in Gosforth, The Black Bull in Morpeth, The Cross Keys in Washington and 22 other pubs – as the business hit financial difficulties.

All 264 staff were kept on as the portfolio continued to trade, while agents Avison Young and Watling Real Estate were appointed to market the pubs, officially launching a sales process in February.

Now Punch Pubs & Co, based in Burton-on-Trent in the West Midlands, has acquired 24 of the 25-strong portfolio in a deal reported to be worth around £15m. The list of pubs include The Dirty Habit in Whitley Bay and The New Inn in Wetherby.

Clive Chesser, CEO, said: “We are delighted to have acquired these excellent pubs, and we are excited about the future as we welcome them into the Punch family. I would especially like to thank Kamran Aziz and the Queensway Advisory team, who continue to provide their management services as the pubs and their teams transfer into the Punch business.

“With the help of our industry-leading investment and support, we will ensure these pubs remain at the heart of their communities and continue to thrive for many years to come. We are looking forward to providing further updates as our plans progress.”

Milton Portfolio Op Co 3, which operated the 25 sites and was owned by investment firm Aprirose, appointed Ryan Grant and Howard Smith, of Interpath Advisory, as joint administrators in November.

Mr Grant, Interpath Advisory, managing director, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement, which will see this portfolio of highly profitable, strong performing and established pubs move into new ownership. We would like to thank the many stakeholders who have supported us throughout this process, including all those who assisted in the trading of the venues while the sales process was ongoing. We look forward to seeing Punch take the pubs from strength to strength.”

Property investment and hotels firm Aprirose, the parent of the Milton companies, acquired the former Wear Inns pubs five years ago in a £22.4m deal with Business Growth Fund and NVM Private Equity. The business was then restructured to transfer the properties to Milton Portfolio Property 3 Limited while the running of the pubs was left to Blackrose Management Ltd, a subsidiary of Aprirose.

Documents showed the business had a deficiency of £8.1m when it was placed into administration.

Emma Turnbull, Avison Young said: “Interest exceeded our expectation which demonstrates that the market remains strong for the right pub product in what is considered to be a difficult trading environment.”

The sale attracted two rounds of competitive bids with Punch Pubs & Co being the successful bidder for 24 pubs with one pub, The Victoria, in Whitley Bay, being stripped out and sold to Amber Taverns, who have already started refurbishment.

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