Simon Longbottom: The Stonegate Pub Company was formed in 2010. We felt there was an opportunity to attack the drinking out market place and felt that we could lead the renaissance of the British pub and bar. So we’ve grown from 333 pubs into now just shy of 700. We needed a banking partner who could help us get the basics right, so that was about tills and PDQs [hand-held machines] and getting cash collected.
Mike Delay: We understand the daily challenges of a pub operation and obviously we support the cash banking, the card acquiring through Barclaycard. And we bring different products and services to support and add value, including the Pay@Pump technology via Barclaycard.
Simon: We’ve been able to build a lot of mutual respect as they’ve seen us hit our targets and our growth profile.
Mike: We've supported Stonegate on a series of financings over the last few years, and we got to the point where we thought that Stonegate needed to diversify its financing sources. So we introduced Na Wei from our Investment Bank.
Na Wei: I first came across Stonegate back end of 2013, when they were looking to diversify their funding source, and potentially go in to capital markets, which would make them the first pub company in to the high yield market.
Simon: Not only were there some exceptional individuals, but there was an element of teamwork within the Barclays team that we appreciated. They helped us tell our investors a really super story, and that led to a very successful placing of a £400 million bond in the Spring of 2014, and that was a first for the sector.
Mike: We understand the industry through our hospitality and leisure focus, but also we have the know-how in the finance markets.
Simon: In 2017 Barclays came to the fore, gave us some terrific advice and we were able to borrow nearly £600 million at a very attractive coupon. We decided to use Barclays as our sole bookrunner, and that was based on the amount of trust and the longevity of the relationship.
Na: It is very rare for a company or an issuer to award a sole mandate to a bank. So it is a strong demonstration of the client’s trust in Barclays. Mike: I think the results speak for themselves, how the Corporate and Investment Banking teams have supported Stonegate Pubs.
Simon: We’re very ambitious and I think Barclays sense that ambition. We think that we’ve got the best banking partner. So we can look forward to continuing the relationship and growing together.