Start-up rural pub group Heartstone Inns has secured £3m of private equity funding to aid it in meeting its target of up to 30 food-led pubs in the South and South-west of England.
This second round of funding has left Heartstone with £4.5m and with just two pubs currently in its portfolio the cash will be used to acquire two new sites in Exeter and Oxfordshire.
Heartstone managing director Stuart Hawthorn told Caterersearch: "This funding round, together with options and further commitments, will bring in a total of nearly £4.5m over the next few months. This will enable us to grow the chain quickly and efficiently."
Hawthorn said the company was being selective about its acquisitions and although keen to grow had "not raised this money to do a trolley dash".
He added that although many pub operators were being cautious about selling sites, contemplating higher property values in the future, there remained enough good quality sites on the market to sate Heartstone's appetite.
By Christopher Walton