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Major UK Pub Operator Punch Pubs & Co Changes Ownership

Global investment firm Fortress Investment Group has today announced the complete acquisition of UK pub operator Punch Pubs & Co.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Clive Chesser, Punch Pubs & Co are a major pub operator responsible for running around 1,300 pubs nationwide.

Commenting on the acquisition, the CEO said: “This is very positive news for everyone connected with Punch, and we are extremely excited about the opportunity that lies ahead with Fortress Investment Group. Fortress is a hugely experienced investor who understands the strengths of our business and fully buys into our strategic positioning and business plan. We welcome their ambition and commitment to work alongside the existing management team to invest in the business with innovation and capital to ensure our long-term success in what is a highly competitive market.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams at both Patron Capital and May Capital for the outstanding backing that they have provided during their ownership of the business. Their support has been invaluable over the last four years, none more so of course than during the pandemic.”

The move by Fortress will see the investment group take a full 100% share in the company from previous backers and owners Patron Capital Partners.

Punch was established by former PizzaExpress head Hugh Osmond and Café Rouge founder Roger Myers in 1997, and has since undergone several mergers and changes throughout the years.

According to a press release by Fortress, what attracted the investment group to the operator was its “resilient business model and a suburban and rural estate has enabled it to weather the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”

Cyril Courbage, Managing Director, Fortress Investment Group, said: “We are excited to team with Clive and the Punch management, which has done an exceptional job of navigating the challenges of the Covid crisis while positioning the business for long-term growth and value creation. We believe in providing strong management teams with the flexibility and support to execute their long-term strategic plans. The UK is an extremely attractive investment environment, and we will continue to explore other opportunities in this sector and across the UK, Ireland and Europe.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Green, Senior Partner, Patron Capital, said: “Punch is a fantastic business and has been an extremely successful investment for our investors, thanks to the talent and hard work of the management team and our partner on the investment, May Capital. We wish Clive and the team well for the future with Fortress.”

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