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Fuller Smith & Turner PLC agrees to sell 37 pubs to Admiral Taverns

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC has agreed to sell 37 freehold pubs to Admiral Taverns, with the completion of the disposal anticipated within the next month.

According to Fuller’s, the cash sale proceeds for the portfolio will amount to £18.3 million, representing a premium of £1.6 million to the gross asset value of £16.7 million. The 37 pubs reportedly generated £1.3 million in pre-tax profit in the year ending on March 30, 2024.

A statement from Fuller's explained, “The proceeds from the sale will further strengthen the company’s balance sheet, enabling additional investment in its pubs, as well as supporting future acquisition opportunities, as appropriate,”

Fuller's next full trading update is anticipated on June 13, covering the 52 weeks ending on March 30. This update precedes the expected completion of the sale by almost two weeks. The previous trading update for the 42 weeks ending on January 20, 2024, indicated that the operator experienced a robust Christmas and New Year period, with sales up by 21.6% compared to the previous year.

Although the specific list of sold pubs has not been disclosed, it is understood that they are located in London and the Home Counties.

Admiral Taverns CEO Chris Jowsey said, “I’m delighted to welcome our new licensees to the Admiral team, and we’re excited by the opportunity to develop these pubs in partnership together,” he added, “Recent years have seen Admiral build a strong track record in delivering profitable growth across our estate, underpinned by continuous targeted investment to unlock new opportunities, supporting community pubs to thrive. These 37 pubs are an excellent acquisition for our business, increasing our reach in the South East of the UK.”

Once finalised, the sale will increase the number of Admiral Taverns-owned pubs in the South East to 300. Following the sale, Fuller's will retain 154 pubs within its Tenanted Inns Division and 179 properties in its Managed Pubs and Hotels Division.

Jowsey said, “Despite the complexities of the macro-economic environment, across our estate we are seeing community pubs, and specifically wet-led establishments, maintaining their popularity amongst locals as people continue to enjoy going out for an affordable treat with family and friends. Wet-led, community pubs have demonstrated real resilience over recent times, and we remain optimistic that our nurturing ethos, entrepreneurial licensees and high-quality estate continues to position the group well to be at the forefront of opportunities in our wider market.”