Brighton’s Palace Pier has been sold to the pub and club chain which operates Coalition and Dirty Blonde for £18milion.
Eclectic Bar Group has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company, and the company will be re-named Brighton Pier Group.
The group has not yet signposted its intentions for the future running of the pier, but says its acquisition is part of the company becoming a more diverse leisure operator.
Eclectic’s chairman Luke Johnson said: “The pier is hugely popular with the British public and it occupies a special place as a landmark at the heart of Brighton.
“Brighton is one of the UK’s most popular visitor destinations with over ten million visitors per year, making it the most visited place in the south east.
“The pier itself is Britain’s most popular attraction outside London. The pier has been well run and well maintained by the previous owners and we welcome Anne Martin and her first class management team to the newly enlarged Eclectic Group.
“This acquisition represents the next stage in the group’s development, expanding the company’s existing portfolio and using the enhanced board’s diverse skillset to become a differentiated operator of leisure and entertainment assets.”
According to industry newsletter Propel, Eclectic company proposes to fund the consideration payable under the acquisition through a conditional placing of new Ordinary Shares to raise gross proceeds of not less than £8.5 million, with the balance to be funded through new £13 million debt financing agreed with Barclays Bank.
In addition, Reuben Harley, the company’s chief executive, has informed the board that he intends to step down following the deal’s completion. Meanwhile, Anne Martin, who works for the current owners, will join the board.
Mr Johnson added: “I’d like to thank Reuben Harley for his contribution to the success of the group. He leaves with our warm wishes.”