Young’s sells 56 tenanted pubs for £53m to focus on freehold model

Young’s has sold 56 pubs for £53 million as bosses continue the company’s move away from a tenanted model.

The deal sees the group retain seven pubs from its Ram Pub Company, which operated Young’s tenanted business, with the remainder going to rival Punch.

The sale was first revealed in May this year and bosses said the disposal will allow them to focus on their strategy of operating “premium, individual, differentiated and predominantly freehold managed pubs and hotels”.

Cash from the deal will be used to strengthen Young’s balance sheet in a difficult year for the sector and also to buy any new freehold pubs to add to its portfolio.

Chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “Young’s sole focus will now be on operating well-invested and premium managed pubs and hotels.

“We have a proven history of making attractive returns from investing in high-quality pubs and this disposal will provide us with additional firepower to upgrade our existing pubs and capitalise on attractive acquisition opportunities that may come to the market.

“During lockdown, we invested a total of £17 million in improving the pubs in our managed estate and the purchase of two new pubs: Enderby House in Greenwich and Alban’s Well in St Albans.”

He added that sales remain encouraging, despite continued restrictions, and said he believes the group will emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position.

The company previously revealed that it sunk to a £45.2 million pre-tax loss for the year to March after the heavy impact of the enforced closures.

Revenues for the period plummeted to 90.6 million from £311.6 million for the previous year and led to the group tapping up £88.4 million in extra funding.