Tring born pub company, The Oakman Group, is branching out into the north of the country with the purchase of six high-quality pubs in a move that will save some 150 jobs.
Oakman has acquired six venues in Lancashire from the administrators of Seafood Pub Company Holdings Limited, strengthening their aspirations to have 40 pubs in their portfolio by the end of 2021.
Seafood Pub will become the third brand in The Oakman Group portfolio, alongside Oakman Inns and Beech House.
Dermot King, CEO of The Oakman Group, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed terms to acquire these sites which represent the next stage in our strategic development as we look to extend our boundaries beyond our Home Counties heartland.
“We believe that there is significant untapped potential, in the premium pub sector, and I am not placing any upper limits on our ambition.”
Joycelyn Neve, the founder and former MD of Seafood Pub Company, will join The Oakman Group as MD of the new division and will continue to be based in the north.
Joycelyn said: “I have been a huge admirer of The Oakman Group, its ethos and its ambition.
"They have acquired the cream of the Seafood Pub Company sites and I’m confident that, with the Oakman team’s support, we will prove to be enormously successful.
"My expectation at this stage is that all six pubs will reopen on May 17th and we will immediately start work on putting our new teams together.”
Oakman Group Founder and Chairman, Peter Borg-Neal, added: “This acquisition has given Dermot and myself the opportunity to review our structure to ensure we are ready for our next stage of growth.
"So, I am also delighted to announce that Alex Ford, until recently Operations Director, has been appointed Managing Director of Oakman Inns and, like Joycelyn, will report directly to Dermot.
"By having these two very talented young operators reporting into a CEO of Dermot’s experience and standing, I believe we are very well placed to move forward with confidence.”