Gosforth's Millstone is among those traded. Credit: via Avison Young

Punch picks up portfolio from Interpath

One of the UK’s largest pub companies has acquired a further 24 venues, making up the bulk of the Milton Three Pub Group being sold by the administrator across the North East and Yorkshire.

Avison Young and Watling Real Estate were instructed by Interpath in November last year to find a buyer for the 25-pub estate, with one pub – Whitley Bay’s Victoria – subsequently removed from the process and traded to Amber Taverns.

The 25-strong portfolio was formerly owned by Wear Inns and previously sold to Aprirose in 2018. The ownership vehicle was placed into administration last November.

AY said that the sale of the portfolio, which was launched in February, attracted a high level of interest from the corporate trade operators, many of whom had had a strong desire to grasp the opportunity to add a good-sized group of pubs, all of which have continued trading, to their portfolio.

Emma Turnbull, associate director at Avison Young said. “Interest exceeded our expectation which demonstrates that the market remains strong for the right pub product in what is considered to be a difficult trading environment.”

The sale attracted two rounds of competitive bids with Punch being the successful bidder for 24 pubs with The Victoria in Whitley Bay being stripped out and sold, with Amber now at work on a full refurbishment.

Throughout the administration process, the pubs were operated by Queensway Advisory with overall trading performance exceeding the same period last year. This, together with very good offers received dispels the market perception that businesses in administration can be acquired at a discounted price.

AY said that the transaction completed within a short time frame thanks to good communication between all parties including Interpath and DLA as well as Punch, Amber Taverns and their advisors.

Turnbull concluded: “I look forward to following the progress of the pubs, many of which are local to me, as Punch gradually incorporate them into their portfolio whilst maintaining the management services of Queensway Advisory in the interim period.”

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