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Downing acquires Pub People and commits to growth

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Investment manager Downing LLP (“Downing”) has acquired The Pub People Group of companies (“Pub People”) and committed to further funding for expansion.

Downing has acquired Pub People, based in Alfreton, Derbyshire from its management team – Andrew Crawford and Kevin Sammons - and merged it with its existing investment in Autumn Pubs Limited (“Autumn”), which has been managed under contract by Pub People since 2012.

Funds managed by Downing will be the majority shareholder in the combined business (the “Group”). The Group includes 49 managed pubs and Downing has committed further funding to help the Group expand through acquisitions.

Kevin Sammons has headed Pub People for over 28 years and has established it as one of the top independent pub companies in the Midlands, with a quality estate and a well-resourced central function. Its estate of high-quality food and drink pubs is based in and around Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, and Lincoln.

Following the acquisition, Kevin Sammons will transition into a non-executive role, while Andrew Crawford will move into the role of Managing Director.

Kevin Sammons commented: “I am proud to have led and built this successful company, along with the many loyal and exceptional employees who have been important contributors to that success. They can now continue the Pub People journey along with Downing and fulfil their and the Group's potential. I am extremely grateful for the support Downing has given us over the last 10 years. It is now time for me to step back and hand over to a worthy and capable successor and his team.”

Andrew Crawford commented: “Kevin and I have worked very well together as a management team for over 20 years. We have together built a company we can be truly proud of, but now there are new chapters to be written. While  there are numerous economic challenges on the horizon, we have a strong team and with support from Downing the Group can continue to invest and grow its high-quality pub estate.”

Nick Carter, Associate Director at Downing, commented: “Kevin and Andy have been trusted and respected partners of ours for more than a decade. We wish Kevin well and we are excited to take the Group to the next stage under Andy’s direction.”

The Downing team on the deal is Colin Corbally, Gautam Chhabra and Nick Carter. Downing has been advised by Michelmores, HMT and K3 Advisory.

Pub People has been advised by Browne Jacobsen and BHP.

Find out more about the Downing Development Capital team.


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