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Stonegate launches major support package for Ei subsidiary

Stonegate Pub Company has announced a multi-million support package for publicans within the recently acquired Ei Publican Partnerships leased and tenanted business.

Ensuring a fair balance of support and assistance across the estate, all tied publicans operating on substantive agreements that are not in receipt of Government grants will receive a three-month rent credit for the period April to June.

To further support those publicans who are entitled to grants of between £10k and £25k, and to enable them to restart their business with confidence and ease cash flow, trade credits of either 75% or 50% of the value of three months’ rent will be provided.

In addition, tie release fees and fixtures and fittings rentals are cancelled for the same period regardless of a publican’s entitlement to grants. May’s planned price rise on tied products delivered to pubs has also been postponed until further notice.

This support plan follows a detailed analysis across a representative sample of pubs and consultation with publicans to establish how the company can best continue to support business partners through these unprecedented times.

Working within the spirit of the requirements of the Pubs Code Adjudicator, the support is intended to provide an appropriate level of financial assistance to help Ei publicans through these turbulent times. The rateable value methodology applied in calculating Government grants was used for the basis of the analysis.

Nick Light, Managing Director of Ei Publican Partnerships, said, “Our approach is founded on being both reasonable and transparent. The support packages we are providing ensure consistency, whilst remaining objective, as well as taking into account the Government support grants of up to £25,000 which are now filtering through to businesses, which the Chancellor has stipulated are aimed at providing financial relief towards fixed costs, including rent.

'We are delighted to see that over 80% of our publicans who qualify for a grant have now received this payment.

“It is vital to us that our pubs and our publicans are in a position to trade successfully when pubs are allowed to re-open. The rent support and trade credit initiatives are intended to provide our publicans with a strong platform to do so, and to help relieve some of the financial pressure required to restock and restart.”

This timetable for pubs to re-open is still unclear however, and the company will be working with the trade associations for further clarity as well as campaigning for additional grant assistance from Government to support any phased opening restrictions publicans may face.

Following the acquisition of Ei Group on 3 March 2020 for £1.27bn, Stonegate Pub Company is the largest pub company in the UK. Its portfolio is comprised of 1,270 sites within the managed division and 3,457 leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs 17,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout, Be At One and Venues. Traditional (unbranded) pubs is made up of: Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, Classic Inns, Common Room, Craft Union and Bermondsey Pub Group.

“It is crucial enough time is given to ensure supply chains are in a position to remove and replenish stock, staff are fully trained and all businesses that are permitted to open are compliant with safety requirements,” added Light.