Marco Pierre White buys six rural inns

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Public house Hotel

The Old Coach House in Norfolk is amongst the Maypole properties acquired by Marco Pierre White
The Old Coach House in Norfolk is amongst the Maypole properties acquired by Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White has acquired the operator of six rural inns, the Maypole Group, after it fell into administration late last year.

Maypole runs the Lifeboat Inn, Wayford Bridge Inn, the Bridge Inn and the Old Coach House in Norfolk, the Pear Tree Inn in Wiltshire, and Angel Hotel in Suffolk.

The group fell into administration in October 2010 after Clydesdale Bank demanded immediate repayment of its loans.

Marco Pierre White was one of 20 parties interested in Maypole, according to Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery, which handled the administration process.

Simon Bower of Baker Tilly said: “This is a fantastic outcome which secures the continuity of the group.”

Maypole financing and trading

Maypole Group was founded in November 2003 with the intention of being an acquisition vehicle for UK countryside hotels with restaurants or pubs attached.

However, the indebted group faced tough trading and struggled to meet loan payments. In 2008 Maypole made a loss of £1.2m, and sold one of its properties, The Wroxton House Hotel in Oxfordshire.

This disposal contributed to a 9.6 per cent drop in sales in 2009 to £5.7m. Operating profit for 2009 came in at £395,978 compared with a loss of more than £80k a year before.

In November 2009 it entered a refinancing deal with Clydesdale Bank, with the hope that this would help reduce operating expenses and prepare for further acquisition opportunities in a depressed market. However, costs associated with the refinancing resulted in a pre-tax loss for 2009 of £465,220.

Maypole under Pierre White

The group, which currently employs around 200 people, has continued trading as normal throughout the acquisition process.

It is thought that the Maypole sites may operate as part of Pierre White’s joint venture with independent pub company Powder Train.

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