Manx operator buys Yorkshire pub chain

ISLE of Man-based hospitality firm Heron and Brearley has bought Yorkshire ale and wine bar operator Market Town Taverns for an undisclosed sum.

Market Town Taverns managing director Ian Fozard will remain in post for at least 12 months as part of the deal, with the new owner insisting there will be no “fundamental change”.

Mr Fozard started the Knaresborough-based company 12 years ago, It now operates 15 premises in North and West Yorkshire.

Steven Taylor, group retail director at Heron and Brearley, said: “Heron and Brearley has been in business for well over a century and has survived and flourished by recognising and seizing new opportunities.

“Given the level of consolidation industry-wide, in the current economic climate an acquisition package of this calibre is rare. Market Town Taverns is a well-run operation and its business model, with a strong focus on delivering excellent customer service, complements our own philosophy.”

Heron and Brearley has a portfolio that includes a brewery, a drinks wholesaler and a collection of convenience stores.

Mr Fozard said: “We are pleased that the values and unique customer proposition which have contributed to our success during the past 12 years have been recognised by Heron and Brearley, an operator that shares our own view that quality of service and product are paramount in today’s difficult trading environment.  

“I am confident our joint expertise and the support of our dedicated staff will help realise our respective business aspirations and lead to continued success and growth.

Market Town Taverns was advised by Haines Watts and Walker Morris.