Marston’s to operate SA Brain’s 156-strong Welsh pub estate

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Marston’s to operate SA Brain’s 156-strong Welsh pub estate

Related tags Marston's pub company Brains Wales Pubs Beer

Marston’s has struck a deal to operate SA Brain’s 156-strong Welsh pub portfolio on a combination of leased and management contract arrangements.

The arrangement - which includes 141 freehold pubs and a further 15 leasehold sites - will safeguard 1,300 jobs

Earlier this month, the family-owned brewer and pubco put itself up for sale after grappling with a slowdown in trading and rising costs.

In March this year, prior to the onset of the pandemic, Brains said it would sell 40 of its 200 pubs to pay off debts and help it to navigate ‘uncertain economic times’ created by Brexit and rising wage costs.

Marston’s says the agreement, which has the unanimous support of the Brains’ board and its lenders, is consistent with its long-term strategy as a ‘focused’ pub operator, post the recent disposal of its brewing assets, and strengthens its representation in South and West Wales.

Marston’s says it has 106 pubs in Wales and that the Brains’ pub portfolio is ‘entirely complementary’ with its existing estate in the country comprising 'a mix of well invested, high quality, destination food and wet-led community pubs, as well as pubs with an accommodation offer providing over 200 bedrooms, in prime locations'.

Marston’s intends to continue to operate these pubs under the Brains’ brand and continue to offer Brains’ beers.

Marston’s will operate the 141 freehold pubs on a leasehold basis, with effect from February 2021, with rent chargeable from April 2021. 

The 1,300 people currently employed will transfer across to Marston’s. 

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