Sky News reports that Anand – who left Greene King in 2018 having led the pubco for 14 years – is expected to embark on a series of acquisitions in the coming months with the backing of an unnamed US-based private equity firm.
Sources close to his vehicle, Redcat Pub Company, said Anand was unlikely to pursue large corporate takeovers in the near term, but would focus on smaller acquisitions with scope for improving operational performance.
He is betting that the ending of social distancing will trigger a resurgence for the pub sector, which has been badly impacted by lockdowns.
A spokeswoman for Redcat declined to comment.
Anand went on to join Casual Dining Group (CDG) as non-executive chairman following his departure from Greene King.
However, last year he stepped down from the role at CDG after the group collapsed into administration.
CDG was subsequently acquired by private equity firm Epiris, the former backer of restaurant group TGI Friday’s, and rebranded as The Big Table group.
Anand's announcement is further confirmation of the 'long-term confidence' held by experienced operators and investors in the UK pub sector, according to James Shorthouse, head of alternative markets at Colliers International.
“The rapid recovery which many pubs saw in the summer of 2020 underlines how they are an important a part of the UK leisure experience, and the appetite that the British public have for good quality food and beverage experiences,” Shorthouse told BigHospitality sister title The Morning Advertiser.
“We fully expect 2021 to present a number of opportunities for new entrants and existing operators to acquire assets, individually or in packages, as the market rebounds from the series of lockdowns and the vaccines take effect.”