Stonegate acquires bar chain Be At OneBy Owen Bellwood
UK pub chain operator Stonegate Pub Company has acquired cocktail bar group Be At One for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition, which includes 33 venues across the UK, is expected to be completed later today (23 July).
Stonegate plans to operate Be At One as a standalone format within its portfolio of high street bars, which includes Slug and Lettuce, and Walkabout.
Following the completion of the deal, all of the chain’s operational management team and head office staff will be retained, while the three original founding directors of Be At One, Rhys Oldfield, Steve Locke and Leigh Miller, will step away from the business.
Simon Longbottom, chief executive of Stonegate Pub Company, said: “Be At One is a business we know well and have admired for some time. This acquisition is a great cultural fit with our existing portfolio and Be At One’s strong association with the delivery of premium cocktails in high street locations, capitalising on the growing trend of premiumisation, further consolidates Stonegate’s leading position in this market segment.
“We see excellent potential to continue to grow the business, investing in the brand and its people and look forward to learning from Be At One’s legendary cocktail theatre and market-leading customer service skills.”
Stonegate said it plans to continue to expand Be At One in the future, following the chain’s existing expansion plans that have seen it open new sites in Soho and Chelmsford.
Mark Derry, Be At One chairman, said: “Steve, Rhys and Leigh have, over the past 20 years, created a unique business and a very special legacy in Be At One, which remains in incredibly good hands through Stonegate and the Be At One senior team led by Andrew Stones.
“This deal paves the way for an exciting new chapter and I am looking forward to watching the business continue to flourish and develop, and the prospect of many more guests across the UK having the opportunity to enjoy the exceptional Be At One experience.”
In addition, Stonegate has also today announced that it has exchanged contracts to acquire 15 bars from Novus Leisure Limited for an undisclosed sum.
Located in central London, the 15 leasehold sites were selected from a total of 26 venues in Novus’ portfolio.
Longbottom said: “The Novus sites which are being acquired comprise a portfolio of high quality assets, which will further establish our leading credentials in London.
“Stonegate has a proven track record of success in identifying, unlocking value and ultimately delivering higher returns from the pub and bar assets which we acquire and we are excited about the opportunity which these acquisitions present as we continue to build the UK’s leading high street, managed pub and bar business.”