Iconic Cotswold Hotels scooped up for £40 million by national pub group

Swan Southrop

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC, the London-based pubs and hotels business, which owns an estate of around 400 pubs and hotels, is to buy seven of the eight inns and hotels owned by  Cotswold Inns & Hotels Ltd, alongside the company’s leasehold on two Birmingham city centre bars, for £40 million along with eight freehold staff cottages in the Cotswolds.

An eighth hotel (The Broadway Hotel) does not form part of the acquisition and is being retained by the current owners, Michael and Pamela Horton.

It is envisaged that all employees will transfer to Fuller Smith and Turner.

The hotels include the iconic Swan at Bibury (pictured). The Lamb Inn and The Bay Tree at Burford, The Bear at Rodborough, The Close at Tetbury, The Hare and Hounds at Westonbirt and The Manor House at Moreton in Marsh.

Cotswold Inns & Hotels was founded in 1997 by Michael and Pamela Horton. In the financial year ended 30 September 2018, the properties being acquired generated revenue of £17.5 million and site EBITDA of £3.4 million with a gross asset value of £31.5 million.

The acquisition is expected to complete on 31 October 2019.

Fuller’s Chief Executive Simon Emeny said: “The inns and hotels being acquired are all iconic, character properties in sought-after locations in the Cotswolds. They will further enhance our existing portfolio of premium hotel accommodation, adding 201 stylish bedrooms.

“A number of the sites have further development potential and Cotswold Inns & Hotels benefits from an established function business, spanning both leisure and corporate custom as well as weddings.  We expect to realise further benefits from bringing the properties into Fuller’s and for the acquisition to be earnings accretive in the first year.

“Quintessentially English and renowned for a focus on fresh food, premium accommodation and an exceptional level of customer service, this collection of seven iconic country hotels is highly complementary with our existing strategy.”

Following the sale of its brewing business at Chiswick in April this year to Japan’s biggest brewer, Asahi for a reported £250 million, Fuller Smith & Turner is now a pub company. Asahi also owns Peroni, Cornish Orchards, an apple cider brand, among other brands.