Pub chain Fuller’s has sold off its 14-strong pizza chain, The Stable, to Three Joes, a sourdough pizza business with just three sites.
The acquisition will see Three Joes expand its geographical spread into the south west, Wales and the Midlands.
Tim Hall, chief executive and co-founder of Three Joes, said: “We’ve been huge fans of The Stable since we launched Three Joes in 2017 and this acquisition represents a significant step forward for us. The Stable is five times our size and whilst we are all operating in uncertain times we are confident the business has a strong future ahead.
“With sites located in harbours, beach fronts and market squares in the South West and on the coast, the opportunity to add these beautiful sites to our estate was too good to be true. We believe these are the ideal locations to expand Three Joes into whilst the country recovers from Covid and people choose to take holidays at home in the UK.”
The Stable, which Fuller’s acquired six years ago, made sales of £14.6m last year and will significantly expand the scale of Three Joes’ business.
Three Joes operate three restaurants in Winchester, Fareham, and Sheffield. Mr Hall – who also set up healthy fast food chain Pod, formed the business with Peter Bruton, ex-founder of Byron Hamburgers and Emma Blackmore ex-Pizza Express and Pret menu development and procurement specialist.
Mr Bruton said: “We have spent three years crafting a successful operating model at Three Joes. We were beginning to disrupt the high street UK pizza chains with 40% like-for-like revenue growth in Q1 2020 and we aim to transplant this trading success into these fantastic new sites as soon as we can safely reopen them in line with government advice.”
The value of the acquisition was not disclosed, but Mr Hall confirmed it had been funded by Three Joes shareholders.
He added: “We have inherited a business from Fuller’s in superb condition and concluded this complex transaction in less than a week allowing us to focus on protecting jobs and reopening the sites as quickly as possible.
“We face a genuine challenge restarting our 14 restaurants, but we are confident customers will return and we believe the market will be buoyant by spring 2021. That is the belief Peter, Emma, our shareholders and I have all backed in this deal.”
Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “The Stable is a fantastic brand and we are proud to have helped it grow. Three Joes is a company that knows pizza, has a similar ethos and culture, and has a management team we trust to look after The Stable. We wish Three Joes every success in taking The Stable on through the next chapter in its history.”