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AMJPE backs pub acquisition

AMPJE has invested £3m in the purchase of 15 managed public houses by Mercury Inns.

Mercury Inns Group, a Tamworth-based consultancy company providing services to the licensed trade, has acquired 15 freehold managed public houses from Jennings Brothers in an £11m transaction.

The acquisition was supported with a £3m equity investment by the Birmingham office of Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity (AMJPE). AIB and Scottish & Newcastle provided the debt funding.

The investment by AMJPE was made on behalf of Murray VCT3 plc, Murray VCT4 plc, Aberdeen Development Capital plc, Ventures North West, Yorkshire III and Aberdeen Growth VCT plc. The funds form part of AMJPE’s Segragated and VCT funds, generalist funds which invest across all stages of development.

Harry Jeavons-Fellows, Head of Birmingham Office of AMJPE, commented: “The acquisition of the Jennings estate is the first stage in a buy and build strategy to create a focused group of food-led destination public houses in the Midlands and North of England. Mercury’s experience in turning around under-performing pubs will maximise the potential of these well-invested establishments.

AMJPE was advised by Eversheds (Legal) and Grant Thornton (Financial). 

AMJPE, a division of Aberdeen Asset Managers, arranges equity finance for expansions, MBOs, MBIs, acquisition finance, refinancing bank debt, rescue/turnaround, secondary purchase/ replacement capital and occasionally, start-ups. It invests in a wide range of industry sectors, primarily in the UK, seeking to allocate generally from £500,000 to £15m in small and medium-sized companies, up to a market capitalisation of £50m.