The One Elm, in Stratford

Peach Pubs has announced the sale of the freeholds of four of its estate in a deal that secures further investment in its 19-strong portfolio and paves the way for the next stage of its growth.

Freeholds of The Rose and Crown in Warwick, The One Elm in Stratford, The Swan in Salford, and The Richard Onslow in Cranleigh have been sold in a ground rent sale and leaseback deal handled by Graeme Bunn, managing director of leisure property specialist Fleurets.

“Peach has grown from an entrepreneurial start-up to a profitable £28 million annual business without any other investor funding, remaining privately owned with growth funded from bank and landlord support throughout our 19 years,” said Peach managing director Hamish Stoddart.

“In early 2019, working with consultants KPMG and Fleurets, we took the decision to re-finance and embark on a sale and leaseback deal for four properties in our portfolio. This led us to a clearer funding strategy, where we worked with Graeme Bunn, MD of Fleurets, to agree the detail of the ground rent sales and leaseback arrangement with Sun Life, advised by CBRE, on behalf of CBRE Global Investors. Chris Ainsworth of Freeths delivered it with Tony Bobath, the new Peach FD.

“As a result of the deal, we have reduced our debt from £8.5m to £2.5m and have sufficient funding in place to do several projects and new pubs, including our immediate priority, the relaunch of our new pub, Boulters Lock, with a £650,000 spend on the only pub that actually sits on its own island in the River Thames. We re-open in March after a six-week refurbishment. We will be rebranding the pub and re-opening around March 25.”

He added: “We’re looking for great gastropubs right now. There’s still lots of room for great, premium pubs in the Midlands and South East, and we’re aiming to build our group to 30 pubs over the next few years.”

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