Phoenix Pub Group, the newly-incorporated umbrella company operating c.80 pubs mostly in south east England, plans to expand to about 120 sites over three years following a period of churn, M&C Report has learnt.
The business, which is led by managing director Declan Boyle, has operated since 1997 and includes a number of subsidiary companies including Premier Pubs, West Inns, London and Counties Pub Company, Tenderfoot and Enlighters – the Phoenix Pub Group was created in April 2012 as the umbrella company.
Phoenix operates mainly wet-led pubs on tied leases with companies including Enterprise Inns, Punch and Greene King, along with some free-of-tie sites; 70% are held on substantive agreements.
Operations manager Chris Cody, a former Admiral Taverns business development manager who joined Phoenix in January, said the company has given notice on 17 pubs that don’t fit its profile and it would like to replace them “quickly with quality sites”.
Cody told M&C Report: “Our ultimate goal would be somewhere in the region of 120 sites. With our operation we are structured to deal with that size of account base. That would be a three-year plan for us.”
Phoenix’s pubs are mostly located in London and the Home Counties, but stretch as far north as Peterborough and also operate in Bedfordshire, Winchester and Dover.
Cody said the company is now targeting East Anglia, and recently secured leases with Wellington Pub Company on the Railway Tavern in Framingham Earl, Norfolk, and the White Horse in Framlingham, Suffolk.
The company operates with six area managers and earlier this year appointed Steve Hall, former investment manager at Punch Taverns and area business manager at Scottish & Newcastle Retail, as operations director.
Cody said: “We’ve been brought in to head up the business, to move it to the next level.”
For future acquisitions, Phoenix is looking for sites that are capable of turning over at least 300 barrels per year and are ideally free-of-tie on wines, spirits and minerals.