£220m Admiral Taverns acquired by C&C Group & Proprium Capital Partners

Drinks manufacturer C&C Group has agreed to acquire 47% of the issued capital for £37m, with the remaining equity provided by New York fund, Proprium Capital Partners, and Admiral management.

C&C and Proprium will collectively invest around £80m, plus debt, to pay around £220m. Admiral’s management team, who remain in charge, will have a small stake

Admiral owns and operates the 845 pubs, which are 95% freehold or long leasehold, in predominantly suburban or city locations and are operated as a tenanted estate.

In Admiral’s latest audited accounts for the 52 weeks ended 28 May 2016, the group had underlying EBITDA of £25.2 million and an underlying EBITDA margin of 36.2%. As at 28 May 2016, the gross assets of the Admiral business were £231.8m and the gross property assets were valued at £244.3m.

The transaction is subject to FCA approval only and is expected to complete by the end of November 2017.

Stephen Glancey, C&C CEO, said, “The local pub remains at the heart of many suburban and city communities – often the hub of local activity and their economic and social contribution is immeasurable. C&C has a long and successful track-record of supplying and providing financial support to local pubs within the independent free-trade in Scotland and Ireland.

'In the UK, the tenanted pub model is a key component of the pub industry. When well invested, and with the right operator and product range, it can provide excellent sustainable returns to all participants.

'Admiral management has a proven track record in balancing these returns with the needs of their tenants and consumers. Today’s new arrangements will enhance choice for both tenants and consumers and provide a platform for further growth at Admiral.

'For C&C, this is an attractive opportunity to create a new long term investment in the important on-trade channel, without taking significant financial and operational risk. The investment will provide our brands with improved distribution in some of the best community pubs across the UK, with an opportunity to enhance on-trade penetration further over time.”

C&C Group is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded cider, beer, wine, soft drinks and bottled water, including Magners, Bulmers and Tennants.