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BGF joins NVM at Wear Inns pub chain

The Business Growth Fund, the fund sponsored by the UK's biggest banks, is toasting a co-investment with NVM Private Equity into pub chain Wear Inns.

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The Business Growth Fund, the fund sponsored by the UK's biggest banks, is toasting a co-investment with NVM Private Equity into pub chain Wear Inns. 

The pair have put up £10m (€12.4m) of equity, £8m of which came from the BGF and £2m from NVM.

NVM is already an early-stage investor in Wear Inns, backing the Northern pub company with £4.2m from its inception in 2006.

Wear Inns employs 175 staff and owns 15 freehold community pubs across the North East and Yorkshire and plans to make further acquisitions with the fresh capital.  

“Any acquisition programme requires a level of financial flexibility. So we set out to find an additional partner who could support us in funding further acquisitions,” said co-founder and chief executive John Weir. 

The company has already bought from chains such as Mitchells & Butlers, Spirit, TCG Inns, Barracuda Pubs and Bars and Greene King.

Mitchells & Butlers has been busy cutting its portfolio in recent months, selling 333 pubs to private equity firm TDR Capital for £373m in August 2010 as it focuses on higher-margin food sales. 

In the last three years, Wear Inns has trebled its sales with net revenues now totalling £7.3m and has achieved like-for-like sales growth of 7.2 per cent.