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Downing makes £4.7 million investment into new gastro pubs
Downing LLP has provided £4.7 million of equity to Apprise Pubs Limited, a pub company seeking to acquire closed freehold sites in the Home Counties and convert them into high-quality gastropubs. The pubs will be operated by the multi-award winning team at Oakman Inns.
Apprise acquired its first site, the Refectory in Hampton Hill, in April 2018. This was followed in August by the acquisition of a closed site in the centre of Wokingham, which was previously operated by Café Rouge.
Steve Kenee, Investment Director at Downing says:
“Despite the headwinds facing the high street, we continue to see opportunities to back strong operators and food & beverage concepts. We know Peter Borg-Neal and the rest of the management team behind Oakman Inns well, having partnered with them for a number of years. They know that we can act quickly as and when opportunities present themselves and have a thorough understanding of the sector.”
Peter Borg-Neal, CEO of Oakman Inns says:
"We are delighted to be working with Downing on this new venture. Oakman Inns is currently growing strongly this year. In addition to delivering 10% like-for-like sales growth, in the 19 weeks to Sunday 11 August, we have had four hugely successful openings this year - including The Royal Foresters in Ascot which is averaging net turnover of £83k per week. However, these openings use vast amounts of capital; by delivering management contracts for Downing-backed businesses, we can grow our EBITDA without increasing capital investment any further."
"Because we manage the entire process from site acquisition through the development process and then run the operation, we can ensure that the sites fit well into our operating system. This enables us to deliver great returns for investors while leveraging our powerful central resources and earning incremental profits."
This latest investment in Apprise comes from Downing-managed VCT funds and Downing EIS. Downing is an experienced investor in the pub sector with over £100 million invested in pubs across the UK.
For all press enquiries, please contact:
Pamela Morris, the lang cat
0131 202 6037
07712 515 503
Jean Birrell, Downing LLP
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Downing LLP
Downing LLP is an FCA authorised and regulated investment manager with over 30 years of experience and has raised funds from 35,000 investors. We help UK businesses grow by investing in them via our wide range of tax-efficient products. We are proud to have raised over £1.7 billion into businesses across a range of sectors, from energy, care homes, health clubs, pubs, and children's nurseries to technology and e-commerce. We currently have over £1 billion of funds under management.
About Oakman Inns
The company was founded by entrepreneur and its CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, in 2007 when he opened The Akeman in Tring which quickly won an award for outstanding design and conservation work with which the pub group has become synonymous.
The multiple award-winning company established the new concept of the ‘modern public house’ and has successfully transformed both historic and modern buildings into contemporary spaces that have a strong sense of identity and integration within the local communities they serve. Offering a high standard of food, drink and service, the ‘Oakman Collection’ comprises 23 distinctive all-day establishments across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
In February 2018, Oakman Inns retained its top 20 position in the prestigious Sunday Times 100 Best 100 Companies to Work For.
The Oakman Portfolio
Royal Foresters, Ascot *
White Hart, Ampthill *
Beech House, Amersham
Beech House, Beaconsfield
Cherry Tree, Olney
The Akeman Inn, Kingswood
Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne
King’s Arms, Berkhamsted *
Banyers House, Royston *
Beech House, St Albans
The Red Lion, Water End
The Akeman, Tring
Kings Head, Chipping Ongar
The Anchor, Hullbridge
The Navigation at Thrupp Wharf, Cosgrove
The Crown & Thistle, Abingdon *
The Old Post Office, Wallingford
Blue Boar, Witney *
The Lost Boy, Farnham
Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon
The Globe, Warwick *
Beech House, Solihull
Beech House, Hampton Hill
The Polecat, Prestwood
Beech House, Epsom