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Admiral Taverns

Cross Guns Sold to Admiral Taverns

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire
The Cross Guns Inn, Pant

Marston’s PLC owners of the Cross Guns Inn has announced it has reached agreement for the disposal of 137 pubs for £44.9 million to Admiral Taverns, the group which owns the White Lion in Llynclys.

According to Steve and Melissa, who currently have the franchise for the Cross Guns, Admiral Taverns do not have the same type of contract that they currently have with Marston’s, so they are unsure what the future will hold.

When Pant.Today asked Admiral Taverns what will happen to people in a similar situation to Steve and Mel, a spokesperson said: “I am afraid we’re not commenting further beyond our initial release.”

On the pub’s Facebook page regulars and locals have been expressing their surprise at the news and have praised both Mel and Steve for their work at the pub.

According to Marston’s, the disposal is in line with their plans to reduce its debt in part through the disposal of certain non-core assets. The assets being disposed of are smaller wet-led leased, tenanted and franchised pubs. The deal is expected to complete before the end of November.

The Cross Guns is listed with Shropshire Council as an Asset of Community Value, which means that if the owners want to sell the building or change its use from being a pub, the community would be given the opportunity to buy it.

Commenting, Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive Officer of Marston’s said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200 million by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets. We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted. This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70 million disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year. We remain focused on our stated objective of reducing our net debt by £200 million by 2023 or earlier, and thereafter operating a high quality business generating consistent net cashflow, after dividends, of at least £50 million per annum.”

The White Lion is currently closed and has a board outside looking to recruit new people to run it.

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