The capital – with debt support from RBS Manchester ‒ will allow the currently eight-site company to expand its gastropub portfolio to an expected 20 venues in total over the next three to five years, with a focus on the North of England, including Cheshire, the Lake District, and North Yorkshire.
Although the deal is for a majority stake in the business, founder and managing director Joycelyn Neve (pictured, right) and other management will still remain as substantial shareholders.
The company has recently secured its ninth site – The Forest Inn in Fence, Lancashire, which has eight bedrooms, and is due to open in August this year.
The funding has also allowed the company to establish a development kitchen in association with a local catering college, with a view to providing an ongoing source of talent for the business.
The business has a mixture of freehold and leasehold properties – with a view to maintaining at least 70% of its estate as freehold ‒ with four out of the current eight pubs also operating bedrooms. Each site aims to establish its own personality and identity in line with the local area and history.
Founded in 2010 by Neve – who began it aged just 25 ‒ the company started with just one pub, The Oyster & Otter in Blackburn. Neve comes from generations of fishermen in the North and Irish Seas, and has stated a commitment to creative, fresh, and responsibly-sourced produce.
The company now also benefits from an experienced management and operations team, including founder of the Devonshire Pub Company Andrew McLean as executive chairman; chef Anthony Shirley as executive head chef; and chairman of Brasserie Blanc and co-founder of Hippo Inns, Ian Edward, as non-executive director.
Neve said: “We are delighted to partner with Penta Capital, which has a proven track record of backing a number of other successful pub and leisure retail businesses…We have exciting expansion plans and this partnership will enable us to realise those and further accelerate our growth.”
Torquil Macnaughton, managing partner of Penta Capital, said: “We were attracted to The Seafood Pub Company’s unique proposition and the fact that it has demonstrates an impressive track record of growth since its inception. Joycelyn is a talented, young entrepreneur and we look forward to working with her and the wider management team.”