A Northern Pub chain have received a £10 million investment to help with further acquisitions and the creation of a further 40 jobs.
Wear Inns was formed in 2006 by entrepreneurs John Weir and John Sands. Since then, the pair have acquired 15 sites across the North East and Yorkshire, and employs 175 people.
Now the Business Growth Fund (BGF) and NVM Private Equity have collectively pledged £10 million of growth capital in the chain. BGF have invested £8 million, while NCM have put £2 million into the business, which they have backed since it was a start-up in 2006. BGF will also take a minority stake in the business, and will join the existing board.
BGF and NVM’s £10m equity investment will enable Wear Inns to acquire further sites over the next few months, creating a further 40 new jobs, and provide flexibility for further acquisitions thereafter.
NVM have already invested £4.2 million of capital into the business, which has helped them to build up their strong portfolio of properties. Mauro Biagioni, North East Director at NVM, said: “NVM entered the pub sector for the first time in 2006 comfortable in the knowledge that we were backing two experienced entrepreneurs with an impressive track record of acquiring and managing pubs.
“The Wear Inns team have developed a winning formula over the years - transforming dead or dying pubs into quality local premises that offer great beer, great prices and an entertaining experience for the whole family.”
John Weir, co-founder and CEO of Wear Inns, added: “Since starting the business six years ago, we have worked with NVM’s support to build up an estate of great community pubs offering good value and good quality across the North of England.
“We have now reached a point where we want to take that approach a step further with the goal of growing our estate over the next few years.
“Any acquisition programme requires a level of financial flexibility. So we set out to find an additional partner who could support us in funding further acquisitions.
David Colclough, Manchester based Investment Director at BGF, said: “This is a great opportunity to back the proven management team of a fast growing company as they build their business through continued acquisition.
“With NVM’s support, John and his team have successfully delivered to date, significantly improving the turnover of their pubs in a short time frame in spite of the financial downturn and challenging times for consumers.
“This investment of £10m will help them to realise their short-term acquisition plans and potential exists for further investment to follow in the future.”
In recent years there has been a strong outperformance by the managed pub model where the company owns the freehold and employs its own staff, as adopted by Wear Inns.
Chairman John Sands and MD John Weir who started the business in 2006 have significant experience in the Hospitality sector. Sands developed the Hartlepool based Pubmaster chain into one of the largest in the UK, selling the 3200 pub estate in 2003. John Weir was Retail Director for Bass/M&B, mainly responsible for the North East and North of England before joining John Sands at Pubmaster.