Shepherd Neame reshapes estate with £13.4m pubs deals
Bishops Finger brewer Shepherd Neame said it has agreed two deals worth a total of £13.4 million involving 13 pubs which boosts and reshapes its estate.
The Kent-based pub company, which dates back to 1698, said it will buy eight freehold pubs in Kent, Sussex and Surrey from larger rival Enterprise Inns that are run under lease agreements.
Shepherd Neame also said it has struck a deal to transfer a further five pubs in Canterbury and Faversham from the tenancy of small pub and restaurant group UES to its own managed estate.
The firm said the combined transactions will take its pub estate to 336, including 59 run under management and 270 operated as tenanted and leased houses.
It said it expects both deals to be completed within four weeks.
Shepherd Neame, which also brews Spitfire, said the acquisition of the pubs from Enterprise is in line with its strategy "to acquire sites with unique character in landmark or high profile locations".
It added that the owners of Faversham-based UES, Dan Sidders and Gareth Finney, will join the Shepherd Neame management team to help develop the five transferred pubs, as well as other parts of its estate.
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: "We are delighted to end another successful year with these excellent opportunities to enhance the quality and profile of our pub estate and to bring new skills in to the team.
"We look forward to working with our new partners and see exciting investment opportunities to help build each of their businesses further."
However, Shepherd Neame said beer volumes, excluding contract sales, dipped by 0.7% in a trading update for the 49 weeks to June 4.
It added that like-for-like sales at its managed houses were up 4.6% in the 48 weeks to May 28, while like-for-like earnings in its tenanted estate lifted 2.4% in the same period.
The pub group said it expected its full-year results would be in line with City expectations.