The pubs industry veteran Rooney Anand is close to toasting the inaugural acquisition of his new consolidation vehicle as the sector prepares for a tentative reopening next month.
Sky News has learnt that RedCat Pub Company is on the brink of buying approximately 40 venues from Stonegate, owner of the Yates’s and Slug & Lettuce bar chains.
A source close to RedCat said the deal could be completed as soon as this week, and was awaiting the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The price of the prospective deal was unclear on Monday.
Stonegate agreed with the CMA that it would offload 42 sites as a condition of its takeover of Ei Group – the company formerly known as Enterprise Inns.
If completed, the transaction will give Mr Anand a foothold back in the British pubs industry nearly two years after he stepped down as chief executive of Greene King.
He raised a £200m warchest earlier this year, with a slab of financing lined up from the American investment giant Oaktree Capital.
Although the pubs industry has been left on its knees by the pandemic, sector chiefs believe there is substantial pent-up demand that will help operators recover once widespread reopening takes place.
The government has said that pubs can open beer gardens from April 12, with restrictions set to be fully lifted from June 21.
Stonegate declined to comment on Monday, while RedCat has been contacted for comment.