JD Wetherspoon plans to sell 11 pubs

26 September, 2023

Well-known pub chain, JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has announced its intention to sell 11 out of its 822 pubs.

These 11 establishments, featuring a combination of 10 freehold properties and one leasehold unit, are strategically situated in town and city centre areas throughout England and Wales.

The sale options under consideration include individual sales, small groupings, or the sale of the entire portfolio.

Paul Breen, Director at Savills estate agents, said:

“These substantial and well-invested pubs are likely to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers.”

Toby Hall, Senior Director at CBRE, added:

“The pubs are all in long-established and proven trading locations, making them ideal for both existing pub operators and new entrants.”

A JDW company spokesperson commented:

“JDW is continuing to invest in its business and has recently reopened the Square Peg in Birmingham and the Lord Palmerston in Southsea, after major refurbishment, costing approximately £1.5m.

The company is also currently redeveloping and extending pubs in Wakefield, central Cardiff and central Glasgow at a total cost of approximately £8m.”

It's important to note that these pubs will continue to operate as usual while the sale process unfolds. In addition, JDW is actively pursuing its plans for the establishment of new pubs and hotels, along with significant enhancements to its existing pubs. This undertaking represents a substantial investment of approximately £100 million.

Below is the list of pubs JDW will be putting on the market:

  • Abertillery – The Pontolottyn
  • Cardiff – The Ivor Davies
  • Chesterfield – Spa Lane Vaults
  • Doncaster – The Gate House
  • Holywell – The Market Cross
  • Kirkby in Ashfield – The Regent
  • Moreton – The Mock Beggar Hall
  • St Ives – The Hain Line
  • Shipley – The Sir Norman Rae
  • Swindon – The Sir Daniel Arms
  • Todmorden – The White Hart

Earlier this month, JD Wetherspoon made headlines by reducing its prices by 7.5% for a single day - this took place on 14 September, which coincided with Tax Equality Day in Scotland. This move aimed to underscore the significant advantages that a permanent reduction in VAT would bring to the hospitality sector.

The chairman of JDW also urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to establish tax parity between pubs and supermarkets.

He commented:

“The biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the vast disparity in tax treatment among pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.

Supermarkets pay zero VAT in respect of food sales, whereas pubs and restaurants pay 20%. This tax benefit allows supermarkets to subsidise the selling price of beer.

Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades, because of the tax disadvantages they have with supermarkets.

Customers coming to JDW pubs on Thursday 14 September will find the price of their food and drinks to be lower than normal.”

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