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Portobello Pub Company buys out Darwin & Wallace

The Portobello Pub Company has completed a deal to purchase London bar-restaurant business Darwin & Wallace.

The acquisition means the enlarged Portobello Pubs business now comprises 27 sites. It has plans to grow the group, including the Darwin & Wallace collection, via selective acquisitions.

Darwin & Wallace will continue to operate under the same name, providing all-day drinking and dining across seven sites in Battersea Power Station, Canary Wharf, Chiswick, Clapham Old Town, Ealing, Richmond and Wimbledon.

Portobello Pubs' 20 existing venues are located throughout London and south-east England. In 2022 the group, then called Portobello Starboard pubs, was itself bought by private equity firm Zetland Capital, which secured a £40m loan to acquire and expand the portfolio from its then-17 sites.

Mark Crowther, chairman of Portobello Pub Company and non-executive chair of Darwin & Wallace, said of the latest deal: 'This is a fantastic acquisition for Portobello, bringing an extremely successful and high-quality business under our umbrella. It represents a fantastic opportunity for us to blend our existing high-quality estate of pubs and restaurants with a collection of truly excellent and premium high-street hospitality venues.'

He praised Darwin & Wallace founder Mel Marriott and her team for doing 'an extraordinary job' in creating and building the business over the past decade, and thanked Zetland and co-Darwin & Wallace investor Imbiba for supporting the deal, adding: 'We are looking forward to taking Darwin & Wallace to the next level.'