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25th October 2023

Red Oak Taverns to acquire 17 pubs from St Austell Brewery

[24th] October 2023 – Next week (Tuesday 31st October), Red Oak Taverns will complete on the purchase of 17 pubs from St Austell Brewery’s leased and tenanted estate. The deal includes sites across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset such as the Rolle Quay (Barnstaple), the White Hart (Launceston) and the Four Lords (Par).


Red Oak owns 212 pubs, primarily leased and tenanted, which are concentrated in the midlands, south, north west and south west of England. The independent business has already made several acquisitions in 2023, from companies including Everards, McMullen’s and Marston’s. Today’s purchase will further extend Red Oak’s south west footprint.

Mark Grunnell, chief executive, Red Oak Taverns, who co-founded the business in 2011 with executive chairman, Aaron Brown, said: “We are delighted that St Austell Brewery, a fellow independent business with a rich history of running great pubs, chose to work with us in selling these assets. We’re committed to the continued growth of our pub portfolio and this package of acquisitions will further strengthen Red Oak’s presence in the south west region.

“It’s important to us that we ensure ongoing consistency for pub guests and our new tenants, and I would like to thank Kevin and the team at St Austell Brewery for working positively with us to effect a smooth transfer for these community assets.

“We’re looking forward to working in partnership with all 17 of our new licensees in this exciting new chapter, providing ongoing support to help their businesses thrive.”

Kevin Georgel, chief executive, St Austell Brewery said: “Red Oak Taverns is a committed and respected operator, with a growing pub estate and a strong track record of running successful wet-led community pubs. We’ve been working very closely with the team in the last couple of weeks to ensure a smooth transition for our licensees.

“Unlocking the full potential of our pub estate is a priority for us, as we continue to develop our business for the future. As part of our commitment to ongoing investment and growth, we are continuing to proactively manage our estate, aligned to our refreshed and focused strategy. This means ensuring all our pubs have a strong alignment with our long-term plans and continue to fit our focus in terms of market and consumer positioning.

“As a business, which is committed to supporting its tenanted partners and investing in its pubs, we are confident that Red Oak is the best possible custodian for these pubs and will ensure their ongoing success.

Established in 1851, Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery – which remains an independent family business – owns 184 pubs, inns, and hotels across the West Country, including managed houses and leased and tenanted sites. Last month, the company announced the acquisition of The Bath Pub Company.

St Austell Brewery was advised on its transaction with Red Oak Taverns by Sapient Corporate Finance and Michelmores LLP with Freeths LLP acting for Red Oak.


Notes to editors:

The full list of sites included in the sale are:

  • Bettle & Chisel, Delebole
  • White Horse, Launceston
  • Radjel Inn, Pendeen
  • Wellington, St Just
  • New Inn, Park Bottom
  • Dolphin, Exeter
  • Western, St Austell
  • Four Lords, Par
  • Kings, Lostwithiel
  • White Hart, Modbury
  • Old Smithy, Ivybridge
  • Dolphin, Grampound
  • Cat & Fiddle, Exeter
  • Holly Tree, Exmouth
  • Racehorse, Taunton
  • Windmill Inn, Williton
  • Rolle Quay Inn, Barnstaple

For further information, contact:

Red Oak Taverns – Elaine Beckett, Darls Communications: / 07802782115

St Austell Brewery – Megan Chuter, Head of Communications: / 07970 379 690

About Red Oak Taverns:

Founded in 2011 by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell, Red Oak Taverns is an entrepreneurial national pub company which comprises 212 mainly leased and tenanted pubs.  The Company is privately-owned by its co-founders and a small number of like-minded individual investors.   The pub estate is

mainly concentrated in the south, south west, north west and the midlands.  Red Oak Taverns prides itself on its flexible partnerships with its Tenant Partners with the aim of developing long-lasting relationships.

Further details can be found on the Company’s website:

About St Austell Brewery: 

Independent, family-owned St Austell Brewery was established in Cornwall in 1851. Fast forward 172 years, and the company’s range of award-winning beers – including Tribute pale ale, Proper Job IPA and korev lager – are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide.

The business owns over 180 pubs, inns, and hotels across the West Country – including managed houses and leased and tenanted sites. It also operates two breweries, in St Austell and Bath, having acquired fellow West Country brewer, Bath Ales in 2016.

With a network of six depots across the West Country – from St Columb to Wimborne – the company is the leading wholesale drinks distributor in the region.

For further information, contact:

Red Oak Taverns – Elaine Beckett, Darls Communications: / 07802782115

St Austell Brewery – Megan Chuter, Head of Communications: / 07970 379 690

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