BGF leads £10m investment in Wear Inns
Funding body takes minority stake and seat on board
The Business Growth Fund (BGF), the independent investment vehicle set up to channel money into dynamic and disruptive small businesses, has led a £10m investment in Northern pub chain Wear Inns.
BGF has contributed £8m towards the investment, with a further tranche of £2m provided by NVM Private Equity, which has backed Wear Inns since its inception and has thus far injected £4.2m into the business.
Under the terms of the deal, BGF has taken a minority stake in Wear Inns, and a seat on its board.
Founded in 2006, Wear Inns has grown by identifying and acquiring freehold pubs across the north east and Yorkshire. The company’s portfolio currently comprises 15 sites, and the new investment will facilitate a string of further acquisitions in the weeks to come.
John Weir, co-founder and CEO of Wear Inns, said: “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, added: “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.”