Oakman looks to accelerate growth through share offer

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Pub group Oakman looks to accelerate growth sale of shares to raise £4.5m Peter Borg-Neal

Related tags: Oakman inns, Peter Borg-Neal, Public house, Pub

The Oakman Group says it is looking to capitalise on the post-pandemic market conditions to accelerate growth and double the size of its estate by 2026.

It is aiming to raise £4.5m from the sale of shares at £2.75 each, and is launching a new investor platform targeted at allowing customers, regulars and communities a chance to own part of the business.

There will be a minimum investment of 350 shares, equating to £962.50 per person.

The group, which includes the Oakman Inns and Ashmore Inns pub brands, owns and operates 27 pubs in and around market towns in southern England and the West Midlands and has an annual turnover is £44m.

Founder and executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal believes that the time is right to accelerate the growth of the company he created in 2007 by raising capital to fund a trail of acquisitions in 2021.

Over the last 13 years, the group has funded its careful expansion by raising capital from an extended network of individual investors and word-of-mouth recommendations. Now its board believes the time is right to open this up to wider pool.

As well as customers, the group will also be setting up a scheme in the new year that will allow staff to buy shares in the business.

New shareholders will receive access to exclusive events; new menu tastings; meet the supplier events; and an 'Investors’ Card' that will give them a range of all-year discounts based on the amount invested.

"Whilst these incentives are a way to reward investors, the real reason for putting them in place is to create a closer connection with our customers and to help build a more direct relationship with the Oakman community," says Steven Kenee, Oakman’s chief investment officer.

"To support this, we’ve created The Oakman Investor Platform to manage the process ourselves, rather using a third party.

"This characterises our culture at Oakman - always opting to invest in long term sustainable solutions, rather than quick and easy wins.”

The share offer launches today (11 December).

“Whilst Britain’s economy, and high streets, in particular, have been hit hard by the pandemic, the end is in sight and we are committed to turn a challenge into an opportunity and do our part to help drive the recovery," says Oakman’s CEO Dermot King.

"By opening more sites, we will not only create a significant number of jobs, but we will also be doing our part to help to regenerate the High Street. We believe that the long-term changes in consumer behaviour, such as the move to working from home, coupled with the tragic and unnecessary failure of many smaller pubs and restaurants, means that we are well-positioned to gain further market share.

"Our company is financially stable, and once the fund-raising is completed, we will proceed with our development plans. We have over a dozen new sites in our pipeline, most of which we will develop and open next year.  

"We expect many more opportunities to present themselves over the next 12 months and aim to double the size of our existing estate by 2026.”

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