OakNorth Bank completes £15M acquisition facility to Red Oak Taverns initially to acquire 11 pubs across the South East of England

  • Red Oak Taverns was founded by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell in 2011 who continue to provide most of the day-to-day executive management resource to the group;
  • A portion of the capital from OakNorth Bank has already been used to acquire 11 pubs across the South East of England, including a portfolio of 9 pubs from Hall & Woodhouse;
  • The business is well positioned to capitalise on future opportunities with post-pandemic financials indicating conditions are improving for the UK’s 47,000 pubs[1].

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a £15M acquisition facility to Red Oak Taverns, a leading tenanted and free of tie pub provider.

Since its launch in 2011, Red Oak Taverns has established a track record for investing heavily in its pubs as well as offering flexible lease terms to its tenant partners in order to provide the best pub amenities it can to the communities that it serves. Led by co-founders Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell, the company now has 201 sites across the UK.

The capital from OakNorth Bank has already been used to acquire nine pubs from Hall & Woodhouse situated across the South East of England in September 2021. This represents Red Oak Taverns’ third pub portfolio acquisition of 2021, following the purchase of three pubs in the West Midlands from Reclamation Inns in January and ten tenanted pubs from Wells & Co in March.

Mark Grunnell, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Red Oak Taverns, commented: “Our acquisitions this year have highlighted our commitment to growing a quality pub estate throughout the UK by working with pub owners and family brewers in a professional and diligent way. The commitment to growing our business remains undiminished by the pandemic, something that has been mirrored by OakNorth Bank’s willingness to continue supporting the hospitality sector through cycle. As has been the case with previous loans we have taken from the Bank, the team operated with speed, transparency and an entrepreneurial mindset. This is why we keep returning to OakNorth Bank for capital – the experience is first class.”

Mohith Sondhi, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank said: “Red Oak Taverns has been an excellent borrower since we first lent to them in March 2017. COVID has been challenging for their sector, but the management team has dealt with this admirably. Through the period, they have managed their business incredibly well and worked extremely closely with all key stakeholders, in particular with their tenants. They saw the Hall & Woodhouse portfolio as a unique opportunity to continue to strengthen their business and re-emphasise their buy and build strategy even during these difficult times, so requested our support and we were delighted to provide additional funding to further their growth.’’



Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £6.5B, directly helping with the creation of 20,300 new homes and 23,700 new jobs across the UK;
  • Raised deposits from c.175,000 savers;
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Visit wordpress-test-website.oaknorth-it.com for more information.


Tom Pavey-Smith, Associate Director – Growth & Communications: tom.pavey-smith@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 0791 716 5588

About Red Oak Taverns

Founded in 2011 by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell, Red Oak Taverns is an entrepreneurial national pub company which comprises 201 mainly leased and tenanted pubs.  The Company is privately-owned by its co-founders and a small number of like-minded individual investors.   The pub estate is mainly concentrated in the South, South West, North West and the Midlands.  Red Oak Taverns prides itself on its flexible partnerships with its Tenant Partners with the aim of developing long-lasting relationships.

Further details can be found on the Company’s website: www.redoaktaverns.com

[1] The GuardianHospitality sector raises a cautious toast as UK pubgoers return

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