County Durham company Wear Inns secures a multi-million pound refinancing agreement

The County Durham company has a portfolio of 26 pubs, but is looking to go further across the region and beyond thanks to a deal from NatWest

John Weir and John Sands of Wear Inns
John Weir and John Sands of Wear Inns

Pub Operator Wear Inns Ltd is on the acquisition trail after securing a new £8m refinancing agreement.

The County Durham company, which has 26 public houses across the North East and Yorkshire, agreed the deal with NatWest’s Structured Finance team to support its business growth aspirations.

The Castle Eden-based business was established by entrepreneurs John Weir and John Sands, together with support from Newcastle-headquartered NVM Private Equity and latterly the Business Growth Fund.

Since its inception in 2005 the firm has grown through acquisition, with latest accounts showing turnover of £13.4m.

It has pubs including the Cross Keys in Washington, The Elephant in Ashington, the New Inn at Durham and Newcastle’s Millstone.

The £8m funding arrangement includes new facilities to accommodate investment and funding for future acquisitions. Wear Inns has been a NatWest customer since 2005.

Simon Duckworth, finance director at Wear Inns, said: “We will be making acquisitions in the North East and Yorkshire regions which will enhance our portfolio of customer-focused pubs.

“We have developed a strong relationship with NatWest and know we can depend on the bank’s ability to come up with pro-active and innovative funding solutions which meet our business needs.”

Liam Glennon, NatWest director of structured finance North, said: “We were delighted to support Wear Inns on this latest funding arrangement which will accommodate the company’s growth plans.

“It’s an exciting time for Wear Inns and we wish them every success for the future.”

The deal was also supported by NatWest relationship director Michael Cross.

He said: “Wear Inns is strong leisure business which continues to grow and thrive.

“The directors have a clear vision for the future and I was delighted to support the company in achieving its business aspirations.”

Earlier this year Wear Inns ranked 68th in the summer update of the Investec Mid-Market 100 list, which ranks active, UK-registered companies according to their four-year average compound annual growth rate.

For the second year running the firm also appeared in the London Stock Exchange’s publication 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain – one of two firms to do so.

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