The Liberation Group acquired by Caledonia via MBO

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Friday 09 September 2016

The Directors of The Liberation Group are pleased to confirm that the acquisition of the Group by Caledonia Investments PLC for £118 million has formally completed today. The deal comprises a management buy-out (“MBO”) led by Mark Crowther, Chief Executive, and Declan Hearne, Finance Director.

Liberation was founded in 2008 through a management buy-in and equity backed by LGV Capital. The Group owns and operates a fully integrated pub and drinks business located in the Channel Islands and the West Country in the UK. Today, Liberation comprises 96 high quality managed and tenanted pubs, two award-winning breweries and three wholesale businesses. The breweries are located in Jersey and Bristol.

Liberation has grown strongly since 2008. During that time, the pub estate has increased from 65 to 97 outlets, and management has launched the Liberation Ale brand in the Channel Islands, where it is the market-leading brewer, wholesaler and pub operator.

Liberation subsequently acquired the Butcombe Brewery and pubs business located near Bristol as a platform for further expansion in the UK in December 2014. Butcombe now owns 22 pubs in the West Country in village and suburban locations. Butcombe Bitter is one of the leading cask ale brands in the West Country, available in supermarkets and on draught in the on-trade.

Caledonia is backing the existing management team, providing an additional £40 million of funding for investment in its existing estate and acquisitions in both its heartland in the Channel Islands and the West Country.

The existing executive management team remains with Liberation led by Mark Crowther, Chief Executive and Declan Hearne, Finance Director. Richard Grainger has been appointed Chairman of the Group Board with immediate effect, succeeding Graham Turner who has served as Chairman since 2008.

Mark Crowther, Chief Executive of Liberation, commented:

“We are delighted to partner with Caledonia for the next phase of Liberation Group’s development. We have a strong growth agenda in train and Caledonia has committed significant capital funding to facilitate the Group’s continued expansion as we continue to invest in - and grow - our pub and brewing operations in our chosen geographies of The Channel Islands and UK mainland. We look forward to continuing to deliver further success for our new shareholders, employees and customers.” 

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