Independently-owned pub group Draft House has acquired the Grand Union Group for an undisclosed sum.
The portfolio includes the five Grand Union sites in Camden, Chancery Lane, Farringdon, Kennington and Paddington (pictured), as well as the company's partnership concept bar and restaurant, Trade Union, which opened in Wapping in June last year. Grand Union sold the three pubs it had leased from Young's back to the brewer earlier this year.
Draft House now has 16 sites across the UK and plans to close and comprehensively refurbishment the newly acquired sites, with all venues due to re-open by November 2017.
All Grand Union pub staff will keep their roles and up to 50 new jobs will be created as the sites are developed into Draft Houses. As with the company's other sites, staff will be able to select their own draft, bottled and canned beers, ensuring each location provides a different offering relevant to its local area.
Kennington, the first site to open on 31 July, will feature a roof terrace with a pergola and festoon lighting and views over the Imperial War Museum.
Charlie McVeigh, owner and founder of Draft House, said: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a key site in Camden Town and five other beautiful pubs in prime central London locations. The deal allows us to take further steps in our mission to bring good food, great beer and real people to pubs across London and the UK."
Luke Johnson, chairman and investor, said: "Draft House is a terrific business with a strong formula. I am confident Charlie and his team will make these six pubs very successful, offering an extraordinary range of craft beers and refreshing lunches and suppers, helping to slake the country's thirst and satisfy its hunger."
Adam Marshall, chief executive of Grand Union, said: "This deal represents natural evolution in the pub market and I wish Charlie and his team every success with these great London sites. I have loved growing and developing Grand Union over the last 11 years and I'd especially like to thank Luke for his personal investment in Grand Union, we have achieved a lot together and I will always be grateful. I'd also like to thank the amazing team I've been lucky enough to work with over the years, our success I owe to them and wish all prosperous futures and careers."
Videos from The Caterer archives