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Orchid hands over 33-strong PBR estate to Eclectic

By Luke Nicholls , 30-Jul-2012
Last updated on 30-Jul-2012 at 11:43 GMT2012-07-30T11:43:36Z

The 33-strong PBR division is now in the hands of Eclectic, which also operates the Lola Lo and Po Na Na brands

The 33-strong PBR division is now in the hands of Eclectic, which also operates the Lola Lo and Po Na Na brands

Managed pub operator Orchid has given full control of its Premium Bars & Restaurants (PBR) division to Eclectic Clubs & Bars in a bid to ‘focus on the core business and the assets that it owns’.

PBR was initially rescued by Orchid in 2009 after the business fell into administration. The new deal sees the 33-strong division taken over by Eclectic, which also operates the Lola Lo and Po Na Na brands.

David Myers, chairman of PBR, said: “While it is generally recognised that the last few years have been very difficult for the UK hospitality sector, now is the right time to bring in the Eclectic team which has the specific expertise to drive both The Living Room and the Ultimate Leisure businesses forward."

Reuben Harley, chief executive of the Avanti Capital-backed Eclectic group, added: "We are delighted to be taking on this business which will bring the total number of sites we operate across the UK to almost fifty.

We see great opportunities in bringing our brand development expertise and service culture to the PBR group and look forward to working alongside many excellent people within the current PBR team." 

Pastures new

A blog post by Orchid’s chief executive Rufus Hall reads: “We’ve this week taken the decision to concentrate all of our efforts solely on our core Orchid pub business and the PBR business, which has been with us for the last three years, will move on to pastures new.

“A big thank you to all of our great friends at the Living Room and Ultimate Leisure who joined us on the Orchid journey in 2009. Great people, great businesses and some great hangovers!”

The Orchid Group itself survived collapse in 2008, following a swift intervention from administrators. Earlier this year, the business completed a refinancing deal with Deutsche Bank in a debt-for-equity deal.

The 300-strong food-led pub group released its own 2012 guide at the beginning of the year, featuring experts’ predictions of the trends, key issues and challenges facing the wider pub trade next year. In that guide, the Group admitted to ‘tough times ahead’.

Meanwhile, Eclectic Bars recently placed 15th in the Zolfo Cooper Profit Tracker – an annual list of the 50 most profitable eating and drinking out companies in the UK released in association with our sister publication M&C Report – with annual growth of 29.4 per cent.