High Society Investors Editor's Choice,Politics Wetherspoons announces it will sell off 32 pubs across the UK as it faces £30m losses

Wetherspoons announces it will sell off 32 pubs across the UK as it faces £30m losses



Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has announced it will sell off 32 pubs across the UK due to rising costs.

The hospitality chain, which operates 800 pubs across the UK, said it has made the ‘commercial decision’ after previously warning it could face losses of up to £30million.

In a statement, company spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘On occasion, Wetherspoon does put some of its pubs up for sale. This is a commercial decision.

‘We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it. The pubs will continue to operate as Wetherspoon outlets until they are sold.’

Savills and CBRE will market the 32 properties which contain a combination of 10 freehold and 22 leasehold units.

The portfolio lists all 32 properties with annual rent ranging from £47,500 for the Malthouse in Willenhall to £288,000 for Penderel’s Oak in Holborn.

Paul Breen, Director at Savills commented: ‘Following the success of our earlier marketing campaigns for JD Wetherspoon we are delighted to be launching these 32 properties to the market.

‘These venues are well configured and fitted to a high standard which will make them appealing to a broad range of potential buyers.’

Agents said the sales represented a ‘rare opportunity to acquire substantial, landmark public houses with a high standard of fit out in high profile locations’.

Staff are expected to be transferred with the pubs ‘upon completion’, the agents said, in accordance with regulations.

Other pubs going up for sale include the Rising Sun in Redditch and the Resolution in Middlesborough.

One of the biggest pubs up for sale is the Grade II listed Capitol pub in Forest Hill, south east London.

The building started life as a cinema in the 1920s and remained one until the 1970s when it was transformed into a Bingo Hall until 1996.

The building still has the former cinema circle which is now used as managers’ officers and storage.

It is the only listed building to be included in the pubs which are going up for sale.

Earlier this year, Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin warned of ‘considerable’ pressure on costs as staffing and energy bills jumped amid concerns that the pub chain could have to raise prices.

Pub goers saw an increase in prices include a 20p rise for a pint in London.

In the wake of the Chancellor’s ‘mini budget’ earlier this week, Martin then warned the proposed freeze on alcohol duty would not go far enough to help pubs as business chiefs warned hospitality jobs remained ‘on a knife edge’.

Responding to the announcement, Mr Martin told MailOnline: ‘An alcohol duty freeze is welcome but the real problem for pubs is that pay far higher business rates per pint than supermarkets and, in addition, pubs pay 20 per cent VAT on food sales and supermarkets pay nothing.

‘So long as this inequality persists, pubs will decline and supermarkets will thrive.’

Which Wetherspoon pubs are set to be sold off by the company?

Barnsley – Silkstone Inn

Beaconsfield – Hope & Champion

Bexleyheath – Wrong ‘Un

Bournemouth – Christopher Creeke

Cheltenham – Bank House

Durham – Water House

Halifax – Percy Shaw

Hanham – Jolly Sailor

Harrow – Moon on the Hill

Hove – Cliftonville Inn

London Battersea – Asparagus

London East Ham – Miller’s Well

London Eltham – Bankers Draft

London Forest Gate – Hudson Bay

London Forest Hill – Capitol

London Hornsey – Toll Gate

London Holborn – Penderel’s Oak

London Islington – Angel

London Palmers Green – Alfred Herring

Loughborough – Moon & Bell

Loughton – Last Post

Mansfield – Widow Frost

Middlesbrough – Resolution

Purley – Foxley Hatch

Redditch – Rising Sun

Sevenoaks – Sennockian

Southampton – Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis

Stafford – Butler’s Bell

Watford – Colombia Press

West Bromwich – Billiard Hall

Willenhall – Malthouse

Wirral – John Masefield