Yesterday representatives from Save The Red Lion Campaign’s Steering Group met with Richard Tole (PunchTaverns, Senior Estates Development Manager), John Kinsey (Jones Lang laSalle, National Director) & Michael Easton (Jones Lang laSalle, Associate Director) to hold initial discussions about the sale of the Red Lion. Jones Lang laSalle is the estate agent that has been instructed to sell the Red Lion.
Some of the key points that arose out of our constructive discussions included -
Punch Taverns confirmed that the Red Lion is up for sale, not because it is not a viable business (despite what Punch Taverns have said publicly), but rather because, like many other of its pubs it has not delivered profits at an appropriate level that works for it.
Punch Taverns have currently taken the pub off the market to allow the Campaign the opportunity to put a financial package together. Punch Taverns confirmed that it did not take the pub off the market due to any actions taken by the Campaign, but solely for commercial reasons.
It was put to Punch Taverns that in effect the Campaign was the only likely purchaser given that there had been no realistic interest shown in the pub whilst it had been on the market. Punch Taverns were urged to recognise this point & negotiate a realistic price for the pub with the Campaign
It was put to Punch Taverns that if it was to facilitate a straight forward sale to us at the right price then it could benefit from good local publicity, which could be commercially useful to it bearing in mind that it owns other pubs in the locality.
Discussions took place around how Punch Taverns could assist the Campaign in trying to attract potential a future tenant (if that was what it decided was to be its future management arrangements for the pub). Jones Lang laSalle also offered to assist the Campaign in developing its business plan or any other matter that would facilitate it fully understanding a future Red Lion business’s commercial costs.
By the end of the meeting Punch Taverns had sought to reassure the Campaign that it was willing to work with it to see if both parties could reach a point where an offer from the Campaign could be taken to its Board with a recommendation to conclude a deal.
The meeting concluded on a positive note with Punch Taverns assuring the Campaign that it would work with it to try to achieve a mutually agreed sale. To this end Punch Taverns offered to meet with Campaign representatives again at a date that was helpful to the Campaign.
The meeting was an extremely helpful one and the campaign looks forward to working with Punch Taverns to conclude a mutually agreeable outcome for the future of the Red Lion.