Liverpool pubs group secures £2.5m lifeline

Rosewell Estates owns and operates 24 pubs and bars across the Liverpool city region, including the Black Bull in Fazakerley, and the £2.5m deal secures more than 200 jobs. Tony McDonough reports

The Black Bull
The Black Bull pub in Fazakerley, Liverpool

 

An operator of some of Liverpool’s best-known pubs has secured a £2.5m lifeline that will allow it to protect hundreds of jobs.

Rosewell Estates owns and operates 24 pubs and bars across the Liverpool city region. They include the Black Bull in Fazakerley and the New Broadway in Clubmoor. It employs 225 people both full-time and part-time.

Its pubs are ‘wet-led’ which means they serve mainly drink and not food. At the moment, while the whole of the UK is in month-long lockdown, all pubs are closed. But Rosewell was still hit under the previous Tier 3 restrictions as only pubs that served food could remain open.

Now the business, which in a normal year turns over around £9m, has secured a £900,000 CBIL (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan), the Government-backed loan scheme, as part of a £2.5m package with Barclays.

As the country endures a second national lockdown, the finance will ensure the business can get through what has been an incredibly difficult time for the hospitality industry. Its owners believe it is now well-positioned to bounce back strongly when normal trading resumes.

Operating in the area for more than 20 years, the business is owned by the Caine family. Christian Caine is the current managing director and works alongside his father, Ian, who is the group chairman. It operates a mix of freehold and leasehold sites.

Christian Caine said: ““In 2019, we entered into discussions with various corporate banks as we looked to secure a refinance and restructuring package with a suitable long-term partner.

“Barclays were successful after impressing us with their sector knowledge, expertise and wide range of services they were able to offer to assist and complement the business. After a successful application process, matters began to progress with a provisional completion target date of March 2020.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic then struck, throwing both the deal and the hospitality industry into a tailspin of uncertainty. Over the following months, we worked closely with Rob Morland (Barclays Corporate relationship director) and his team, overcoming the many challenges that the pandemic has thrown at both our business and the industry as a whole.”

Mr Morland led the the transaction, and the deal was introduced by Jayne Preston, business development manager for Barclays’ National Broker Team. He added: “The Caine family have built up an extraordinary business over the last 20 years.

“Their successful operating model is reflected by their popularity and positive reviews. The team and I have spent a long time getting to know the client, and when the hospitality sector was impacted so devastatingly, our understanding of the business and our relationship with its owners made a huge difference.

“The new facility will secure over 200 jobs within the local community and provide vital liquidity to the business to build again once the restrictions are lifted.”

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