City Pub Company plans £10m EIS-funded expansion

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: City pub company, London

Clive Watson: "We have built an estate of really high quality pubs in fantastic locations across the south of England.”
Clive Watson: "We have built an estate of really high quality pubs in fantastic locations across the south of England.”
An ambitious pub company is seeking a further £10m in Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) funding to grow its estate to at least 20 pubs by the end of next year.

City Pub Company, founded in December 2011 by industry entrepreneurs Clive Watson, David Bruce and John Roberts, has previously successfully raised funds through the EIS model three times. EIS funding offers tax breaks for investors.

Since the last fundraising, which completed in April, the pubco has more than doubled in size, now owning 13 pubs. In this latest round, operating companies City Pub Company (East) and City Pub Company (West) will each raise £5m. RAM Capital is advising on the EIS offer.

City Pub Company (East) is headed up by Rupert Clark and operates primarily free-of-tie, wet-led, freehold pubs in the South East – including London pubs north of the Thames. Recent additions include the Phene in Chelsea, London, the Three Blackbirds in Newmarket, Suffolk, and the Georgian House, in Norwich, Norfolk.

With a stronger emphasis on the food offering, City Pub Company (West) operates a portfolio mainly to the west of London (and south of the Thames). Managed by Alex Derrick, it has recently acquired the Lighthouse in Battersea and the Roundhouse, in Wandsworth. The Bath Brew House, formally the Metropolitan, was acquired in June 2013. A refurbishment followed before it reopened in September 2013.

Acquisition plan​ 

According to chief executive and founder Clive Watson, the EIS scheme had enabled the company to bring in investors with a shared passion for pubs.

He said: “In the short time that we have been operating, we have built an estate of really high quality pubs in fantastic locations across the south of England.”

Watson added: “We look forward to continuing to acquire and develop pubs that give customers access to great well-refurbished freehouses.”

Speaking to Big Hospitality’s sister website, the Publican's Morning Advertiser, Watson said the general rule is to look for sites within two hours of south-west London or from the houses of Derrick or  Clark in Surrey and Sussex.

Watson has previously declared his intention to acquire pubs in clusters, one of which would be a mircobrewery​ that would sell-on to the other pubs nearby.

During the first eight months ended 31 August 2013 ,City Pub Company generated total sales of £4.64m with an operating profit of £618,000.

Related topics: Business, Venues, Pubs & Bars

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