“I’ve always been a strong believer in the great British pub."
Former Greene King boss Rooney Anand has secured a £200 million investment to launch a new pub venture.
Anand led pub retailer Greene King as CEO until 2019. Now, the 54-year-old is making his way back into the UK’s pub sector.
Anand’s new venture comes after a large cash injection from Los Angeles-based investment firm Oaktree.
Oaktree, known for investing in distressed firms, has expanded to become one of the world’s most prominent asset managers.
The RedCat Pub Company, of which Anand will be executive chairman, will partner with licensees, publicans and entrepreneurs.
Rooney Anand’s goal for RedCat is to help “support the recovery of the sector” and aid UK bars in their recovery from the pandemic.
Pubs and bars across the country have taken a massive blow as a result of the restrictions caused by coronavirus.
During the pandemic, around 87 million pints have been thrown away by British pubs, along with a waste equivalent of £331 million in sales, according to the British Beer & Pub Association.
All sites are currently shut to customers amid the nation’s third lockdown.
When current restrictions ease, RedCat believes there will also be more “pent-up demand and more people holidaying in the UK because of Brexit”.
RedCat is planning to begin by purchasing pub sites in the East, South East and South of the UK.
Speaking of his new venture, Rooney Anand said:
“I’ve always been a strong believer in the great British pub.
“It has survived the Blitz, the Great Plague and the credit crunch – always bouncing back and taking its rightful place at the heart of the community.
“We want to partner with talented licensees and entrepreneurs to give them the support, capital and help they need to thrive.”
Rooney Anand has previously seen Greene King through both the credit crunch and the smoking ban, both of which took a large toll on the pub sector.
His strategy is to broaden the appeal of the pub, as well as to improve service and value for money.
Born in Delhi, Anand grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands from the age of two.
He studied for a Business Masters degree and began at Greene King as head of brewing in 2001.
When Anand took over as CEO of Greene King in 2004, the company had just shy of 2,000 pubs. When he left in 2019 it had over 2,800, with a £2.2 billion turnover.