NewRiver REIT has entered into an agreement for the sale of Hawthorn Leisure pub business to AT Brady Bidco Limited (Admiral Taverns) for approximately €259.6m (£222.3m). The disposal comprises 674 leased & tenanted and operator managed community pubs. Admiral Taverns is a wet-led community pub operator, with approximately 1,000 pubs across England, Wales and Scotland.
Allan Lockhart, Chief Executive of NewRiver, commented: "Over recent years, we have grown Hawthorn to become the UK's leading community and wet-led pub business. As a consequence of this, we received significant interest from a range of potential buyers for Hawthorn, following the divestment plan we announced in April 2021. We have now agreed the sale of Hawthorn which, once completed, will deliver on our key priority to reset Loan to Value, strengthening our balance sheet and enabling us to focus on executing our resilient retail strategy. I would like to thank the entire Hawthorn team and, in particular, Mark Davies, who the Board had previously mandated to lead the divestment of Hawthorn, for their professionalism and dedication throughout the process, which has delivered a great result for NewRiver shareholders. Alongside the new dividend policy which we announced recently in our full-year results, and increased transactional evidence in the parts of the retail investment market that we are focused on, we look forward with genuine confidence."