Europa and Duke Street sell pub group

Two London-based private equity firms have made a partial exit from CI Traders, the Channel Islands retail and hospitality company acquired last year.

SandpiperCI, the special purpose vehicle formed by European mid market private equity firm Duke Street and private equity real estate firm Europa Capital, has signed agreements to sell its hospitality division, which owns pubs in the channel islands, to LGV Capital. According to a source, the deal price was around £70 million ($140 million).

Sandpiper’s hospitality division is made up of 65 pubs located in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, the Jersey Brewery and two drinks distribution businesses, Victor Hugo in Jersey and Bucktrout & Co in Guernsey.

Under LGV’s new ownership, a new chief executive, Mark Crowther, the former Chief Executive of London Town, will be appointed.

The partial exit comes a year after London-based Europa teamed up with Duke Street to acquire CI Traders, the largest operator of consumer and leisure businesses in the Channel Islands. The buyout was unusual because it was a rare example of a pure private equity firm teaming up with a real estate investment manager to take over a company. At the time, Jersey-based CI Traders has an enterprise value of £410 million. It was formed when two of the channel islands biggest companies, Ann Street Group and Le Riche, merged.

The firm says that since its acquisition of CI Traders, SandpiperCI has refocused the strategy to promote further investment in its core retail businesses, while at the same time improving its offering and customer service.

SandpiperCI was advised on the disposal by McQueen and by David Myers, of Delamere Consulting LLP and former Chief Executive of Avebury Taverns.