Stonegate adds almost 50 new bars to its estate with double takeover

Stonegate Pub Company has dramatically bolstered its bar offering with a double takeover deal for Be At One and 15 Novus Leisure sites.

Be At One is a specialist cocktail bar operator with 33 bars in prime high street town and city locations. It has 17 sites in London and representation throughout the UK including in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Reading and Cardiff.

Stonegate sees the business as a good fit with its managed high street bar portfolio and plans to operate it as a standalone eighth format.

All of the operational management team and head office staff will be retained, but the three original founding directors – Rhys Oldfield, Steve Locke and Leigh Miller – will step away from the business upon completion of the deal.

Be At One has ambitious expansion plans with a strong pipeline of new sites in place. Following a recent opening in Soho, a new site is due to open in Chelmsford later this month, as well as a second cocktail bar in Birmingham in August.

Meanwhile, Stonegate has exchanged contracts to acquire 15 bars from Novus Leisure for an undisclosed sum.

Located in prime Central London locations in the City and West End, the sites being acquired – all of which are leasehold – were selected from a total of 26 sites in Novus high quality bars portfolio.

Stonegate plans to invest in the sites promptly post acquisition, as well as capitalise on Novus’ acknowledged expertise in pre-booked sales, it said.

Simon Longbottom, chief executive of Stonegate, commented: “These are both excellent acquisitions for Stonegate which are right in our sweet-spot. Be At One is a business we know well and have admired for some time.

“This acquisition is a great cultural fit with our existing portfolio and Be At One’s strong association with the delivery of premium cocktails in high street locations, capitalising on the growing trend of premiumisation, further consolidates Stonegate’s leading position in this market segment. In addition, the Novus sites which being acquired comprise a portfolio of high quality assets which will further establish our leading credentials in London.”

Stonegate has a proven track record of identifying and unlocking value from pub and bar assets it has acquired and has built a reputation for consistently achieving industry-leading returns on its investments.

This includes Bramwell, Tattershall Castle Group, Intertain and Sports Bar & Grill, all of which have been acquired in the past four years.

Following the acquisition, Stonegate will comprise 739 operating venues in the UK.

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