19th November 2019

Camerons Brewery, the largest independent brewer in the North East, has announced the acquisition of Bar Soba group, with support provided by UNW and Weightmans.

The acquisition will see Hartlepool-based Camerons Brewery grow its current managed pub estate to 34 sites across the UK. Bar Soba, which was founded in 1999, has three venues in Glasgow as well as one in both Edinburgh and Leeds, and is characterised by its vibrant South East Asia-inspired food and creative cocktail menu.

Chris Soley, Chief Executive at Camerons Brewery, said: “We have been working on this transaction for a while, and are delighted that it has now gone through. Growing our retail pub group is one of our key business strategies, and we will continue to identify opportunities to add venues to our various pub brands. Our acquisition of Bar Soba complements our offerings in The Head of Steam and Urban Country Pubs brands, and we are excited to see our estate develop further.”

David Ladd, CEO at Bar Soba, said: “We are all delighted to become part of Camerons Brewery. Bar Soba is a successful brand with a highly talented, dedicated team, and with support from the management team at Camerons, we will be able to look for further opportunities to grow the business.”

Chris added: “A big part of Bar Soba’s success has been its people, and so all of the current management team and staff will remain in place, with Bar Soba operating independently as a standalone business. We look forward to welcoming David (Ladd) back into our business as he was a great asset to Camerons when he worked with us previously within our operations team.”

David Ward, Tax Partner, and Simon McInally, Tax Senior Manager, from accountancy and business advisory firm UNW provided tax due diligence on the deal, while Duncan Reid, Partner at national law firm Weightmans provided legal advice. Finance for the acquisition was provided by HSBC. Both UNW and Weightmans previously advised Camerons on their acquisition of Leeds Brewery’s pub estate in 2017, which saw the group add seven venues to its portfolio.

John Foots, Finance Director at Camerons Brewery, said: “We are delighted to complete our latest acquisition and were very grateful to both UNW and Weightmans for providing advice and assistance to the company during the process. It’s a pleasure to continue to work with such professional and commercially astute advisors.”

Simon McInally, Tax Senior Manager at UNW, said: “We have supported Camerons Brewery for a number of years, including on its acquisition of Leeds Brewery’s pub estate in 2017, and are delighted to have helped them throughout this latest transaction. The deal is representative of their ambition, and we look forward to seeing their continued growth in the future.”

Duncan Reid, partner at Weightmans, said: “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Camerons and to have advised them on yet another successful acquisition as their ambitious expansion strategy continues apace. It is our priority to provide solutions driven legal advice in order to help our clients achieve their commercial goals, and I am pleased that we have been able to deliver this once again for such an established brand in the North East.”

As the general election in December approaches, the Charity Commission has recently published guidance for charities. This has been issued

The previously announced proposals to extend the eligibility to join a VAT group to non-corporate entities will come into effect

UNW’s Corporate Finance team and Who Can Fix My Car, a leading website that connects drivers with car repair services local to them, recently hosted a round-table lunch in Newcastle upon Tyne. The forum was held to explore how data can be used more effectively to increase sales and efficiency by encouraging attendees to share ideas. It also allowed them to investigate ways in which they could collaborate with one another in the future.

In this edition, we are focusing on looking forwards – firstly with a reminder on the responsibilities of a charity

A trustees’ report provides an opportunity for charities to highlight, celebrate, and advertise not only their achievements and public benefit,