PUBLICAN Michael McGuigan has outlined plans to double the estate of The Shilling Group and has bank finance in place to make an acquisition this year.
McGuigan is the sole-owner and managing director of the company, founded in 2003, which owns and operates six bars in Edinburgh, and one in the Scottish Borders.
He expects to add £3.6 million to sales this year following record turnover last year of £2.3m, based on the trading of four pubs which include Bar Kohl on George IV Bridge, and Thomson’s Bar in Morrison Street, both in Edinburgh. He said he hopes to have 12 pubs by 2020.
McGuigan said: “Recession can bring some opportunities. We are focused on trying to find that next unit. We have ambitious plans as a young company.”
His latest venture, the Fountain in Fountainbridge was acquired from R&L, part of Iranian property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz’s business empire.
According to the firm’s recent account to the year ended 31 October 2011, net debt was still less that £1m. The company’s lenders are Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.
He says a deal to get bank debt to acquire the freehold of a nearby pub to The Fountain – The Golden Rule – hit severe delays after the 2008 crash of Lehman Brothers and his bid ground to halt for about a year.
“I must admit, both of those banks at different times over the last four years have been good and bad. But at least when they said no, I knew where I stood.
“But we just kept going,” recalled McGuigan.
“Over the last three years we have really pushed to try to grasp opportunities. We are chuffed.
“We are pushing on and doing well.”
He also works with Caledonian Heritable, Kevin Doyle’s sprawling pub and club empire, whose accounts published last week showed it had more than doubled profits to £5m on a rise in sales to £39.4m from £37m.
McGuigan said: “They have supported me in the past for funding”.
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