Former Greene King boss launches pub venture with £200m investment

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·1-min read

Former Greene King boss Rooney Anand is to swoop back into the UK’s beleaguered pub sector after securing £200 million from one of the world’s largest investment firms to launch a new venture.

Mr Anand, who led the pub group as chief executive officer until 2019, has secured the mammoth cash injection from Los Angeles-based Oaktree.

The RedCat Pub Company will partner with licensees, publicans and entrepreneurs to help “support the recovery of the sector”, he said.

Pubs and bars across the country have been hammered by coronavirus restrictions, with all sites currently shut to customers amid the third national lockdown.

Coronavirus – Thu Jan 28, 2021
Chains secure the doors of a closed Fuller’s pub in London, during England’s third national lockdown (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The company said it believes there will be more “pent-up demand and more people holidaying in the UK because of Brexit” when current virus curbs ease.

RedCat is to start with a focus on buying pub sites in the East, South East and South of the UK.

Mr Anand, who will be RedCat’s executive chairman, said: “I’ve always been a strong believer in the great British pub.

“It has survived the Blitz, the Great Plague and the Credit Crunch – always bouncing back and taking its rightful place at the heart of the community.

“We want to partner with talented licensees and entrepreneurs to give them the support, capital and help they need to thrive.”

Famed for investing in distressed firms, Oaktree has expanded to become one of the world’s most prominent asset managers and holds stakes in UK firms including Fitness First and Countrywide.