Walkabout bar operator changes hands to inject investment

Walkabout Blackpool

Control of Walkabout bars operator Intertain has been sold to new investors to inject new capital into the business for refurbishments and acquisitions.

Better Capital, co-founded by leading investment specialist Jon Moulton, has taken control of the company which owns and operates the 32 Australasian-themed bars around the UK.

Under existing management led by chief executive John Leslie, Intertain now plans to continue with a programme to invest in its bars and actively pursue the acquisition of new venues.

Intertain chairman David Myers said: “In the summer we announced plans to seek new investment to support our investment and expansion plans. There was considerable interest from investors and Better Capital’s experience and resources represented the strongest option in terms of securing the future growth of the Intertain business.”

Intertain was formed in October 2009 to acquire the prime trading assets previously owned and operated by Regent Inns. Over the past four years, it has carried out a re-investment programme at its sites, completing 13 major refurbishments that have delivered excellent returns.

The most recent Walkabouts to benefit – in Derby, Carlisle and Lincoln – have seen sales increase by an average of 52%.

John said: “We are delighted to be working with Better Capital as it gives us the capacity to complete the investment programme and grow the business further.

“The work we have done on the evolution of the Walkabout brand over the last 18 months has delivered exceptional returns, and we’re very excited about the future growth potential of the business.”

While Walkabout forms the core of the Intertain portfolio, with 26 venues, it also owns and operates six individual bar concepts. Five of the venues within the estate also operate Jongleurs comedy clubs.

Jon, who founded Better Capital with Mark Aldridge and Nick Sanders in 2009, was formerly managing partner of private equity firm Alchemy Partners, a leading investor in pub and bar companies. In 2005, it acquired Revolution bar operator Inventive Leisure, now The New Inventive Bar Company.

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