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9th November 2021

Zetland Capital and Portobello Brewery partner to acquire London pub portfolio

Growth target is to build a business with over 80 pubs

Portobello Starboard, an acquisition platform backed by private equity firm Zetland Capital and operated by Portobello Brewery, is delighted to announce the acquisition of 12 high quality freehold pubs, located across the London villages and suburbs.

The pubs have been acquired from various entities, backed by funds managed by investment manager Downing LLP. Portobello Brewery, the pub operating company, led by industry heavyweight Mark Crowther, has been managing the sites for the past year. Zetland Capital is providing equity funding for the acquisition and will provide further financial support, as the business looks to grow through acquisitions across London and the south of England.

The sites include the flagship Westow House in Crystal Palace, which has recently added 22 en-suite bedrooms, along with other locations including Forest Gate, Peckham, New Cross, Sutton and Brixton.

Mark Crowther, Executive Chairman of Portobello Brewery, commented:

“We are delighted to have completed this acquisition and to partner with Zetland Capital. Zetland’s backing will enable us to invest in these great pubs and our fantastic teams, supporting the recovery and to acquire further pubs in the South of England.”

Ahmed Hamdani, Managing Partner at Zetland, commented:

“We are excited to have made this acquisition of a high quality and well-located portfolio of pubs. We are partnering with a highly experienced team, led by Mark, and will back them, with substantial investment, to grow Portobello into one of the leading pub businesses in Southern England.”

Zetland Capital was advised by Burges Salmon (legal), Kroll (financial and tax), EY (structuring), Turner & Townsend (technical) and Envo (EHS). Downing was advised by Sapient Corporate Finance and TLT (legal).


Zetland Capital Partners LLP

Zetland Capital Partners LLP (“Zetland”) is a London-based private equity firm that was founded in 2016 by Ahmed Hamdani. The firm invests in mid-market special situations across Europe. Zetland leverages decades of investing experience, a unique skillset and flexible capital solutions to bring about better outcomes for businesses, asset owners and the wider community. Zetland partners with management teams and operating partners, focusing primarily on supporting businesses through dislocations and driving value creation. Zetland manages over €1bn of long-term committed capital for pension plans, endowments, foundations and family offices. Typical investments are in the range of EUR 10m to EUR 50m.

Portobello Brewery

Portobello Brewery was founded in 2012 by Rob Jenkins and is based in the heart of the Portobello area of West London. Their award-winning beers include London Pilsner, Notting Helles, London Pale Ale, Market Porter, Stiff Lip IPA and Star Best Bitter. Richard Stringer joined the business in 2019 as MD of the pubs business. Sharon Hayward will join the business as CFO of the pubs on completion. Mark Crowther joined as Chairman in 2020 to support the strategy and growth of the business. Mark is also Chairman of Curious Brewery and NED with Darwin & Wallace.

Downing LLP

Downing LLP is an investment manager with over 30 years’ experience, £1.5 billion worth of assets under management and thousands of investors. The business has made a firm-wide commitment to the principles of responsible investment by assessing opportunities for both their profitability and their environment and social impact. Downing believes this approach can make investments more rewarding: rewarding by being profitable for its investors, rewarding by being supportive to the businesses it funds and, through their success, ultimately rewarding for society.

12 Pubs included in the deal
Effra Social, Brixton
Royal Albert, New Cross
Knowles, Norwood
John the Unicorn, Peckham
Walker Briggs, Crystal Palace
Forest Tavern, Forest Gate
Old Red Lion, Kennington
Westow House, Crystal Palace
GPO, Eltham
Sylvan Post, Forest Hill
Pratts and Payne, Streatham
Shinner & Sudtone, Sutton

Press release from Portobello Brewery

Further information:
Mark Crowther, Chairman, Portobello Brewery
Tel: 07979 704650

Zetland Capital