Penta Capital buys into pub chain

Penta Capital, a Glasgow-based private equity company, has bought a controlling stake in UK pub chain Geronimo Inns to expand the business in the South East of England.

Penta Capital, a private equity company based in Glasgow, has bought a majority stake in pub chain Geronimo Inns.  Penta Capital will invest up to £10 million (€15 million; $19 million) in the business, while Barclays Bank, its existing lender, is committing new facilities of up to £14.5 million.  

Geronimo Inns: private equity-backed public houses

Dickson Minto gave legal advice to Penta Capital while corporate finance boutique Livingstone Guarantee provided financial services.

The acquisition strategy will be focused on London, the South East and high-density footfall sites, including locations near airports and railway stations.  Geronimo Inns, which currently operates 15 pubs, plans to double the size of the existing business over the next three years, through a mix of freehold and leasehold sites.  Geronimo Inns will open new sites at Heathrow Terminal Three and St Pancras railway station in London, to benefit from the launch of the new Eurostar service in 2007.

Geronimo Inns adds to the leisure sector of Penta Capital’s potfolio.  Last year Penta Capital bought into EAT, a London-based sandwich company for £39 million.