Six Million Pound Joe!
Wine bar boss merges with leisure giant – Six million pound Joe Roberstson of Newcastle.
TYNESIDE wine bar owner Joe Robertson was today toasting a deal that has netted him a cool £6m. The former Lindisfarne pop group manager, now boss of a company which owns several Newcastle pubs, has merged City Leisure Holdings with one of Britain’s biggest leisure groups.
He becomes a major shareholder in the Stock Exchange-listed company Midsummer Leisure. Adam Page, 51, chairman of Midsummer, says he was impressed by Joe Robertson’s Newcastle wine bars
They include Maceys, Masters, Berlins and Luckies and there are nightspots in London.
The merger with Midsummer Leisure is on a shares-and-cash basis, giving Joe Robertson £6m. He says the deal will not affect the 120 Newcastle based staff, and he is to retain his Bigg Market, Newcastle, offices from where he also Controls the company’s property businesses and wine bar design team.
Mr Robertson, who now lives in London, opened his first wine and food outlet above Pumphrey’s coffee shop in Newcastle’s Cloth Market.
This later became Rick’s wine bar and was followed by a string of others, including Legends, Pumphrey’s, Sloanes and Brahms and Litz. He then sold out to a brewery for a reported £2m and opened new bars and the London nightspots.
Midsummer recently bought the giant Rileys Snooker empire and operates pubs, nightspots. restaurants, ice rinks and roller rinks Britain.
Joe Robertson says he will now concentrate on the fortunes of Midsummer while continuing to develop new pubs and clubs, particularly is London.
Wine Bar Joe’s £6m Deal
Tynesiders were raising their glasses this week to Joe Robertson, the man who brought wine bars to the “beer and baccy” North East.
Joe 39, who once managed the pop group Lindisfarne, was celebrating a merger of his company, City Leisure Holdings, with the national leisure giant Midsummer Leisure, of Leicester.
Midsummer Leisure have paid him £6 million to add the expertise that turned a number of rundown pubs on Tyneside into trendy wine and cocktail bars to their booming business.
Joe now becomes a major shareholder of Midsummer Leisure and his Newcastle wine bars, which include Maceys, Masters, Berlins and Luckies, are added to the property listings of Midsummer Leisure.
Midsummer chairman Adam Page, whose Stock Market-listed company operates a nationwide network of traditional pubs, wine bars, nightspots, snooker halls, ice rinks, roller rinks and restaurants, said he was impressed by Joe’s, pioneering achievements in an area like the North East.
The two entrepreneurs’ recent leisure experience is similar, Adam Page sold his own chain of pubs and nightclubs to brewers Whitbread in 1984 for £7.5 million.
Since then, when he became chairman of Midsummer, the company has increased the number of outlets by 300 per cent, turnover is up by almost 400 per cent and operating profits have soared by 1,700 per cent.
Undaunted by the prospect of operating in an unemployment blackspot like the North East, Adam Page said: “Even if unemployment is more than 15 per cent, it means that almost 85 per cent are employed.”
“When people cannot afford holidays, cars or videos, they can still afford the sort of services which we offer.”
Midsummer, which recently acquired the national chain of Riley snooker halls and clubs, has added 120 staff to its current payroll of 1,600 by this latest addition.