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De Vere (hotel operator)

  (Redirected from De Vere Group)

De Vere is a hotels and leisure business which until the late 1990s was a brewing company known as Greenall's. It used to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

De Vere
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Key people
Tony Troy (Group CEO)


Greenall's Brewery was founded by Thomas Greenall in 1762. Initially based in St Helens, the company established a second brewery at Wilderspool, south of Warrington in 1787.[1][2]

It bought the Groves & Whitnall Brewery in Salford in 1961,[3] Shipstone's Brewery in Nottingham in 1978[4] and Davenport's Brewery in Birmingham in 1986.[5] For much of the 20th century, the company traded as Greenall Whitley & Co Limited.[5] The St Helens brewery was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a new shopping centre. The Warrington brewery on the edge of Stockton Heath was bought by Bruntwood, renamed Wilderspool Business Park and is now let to office occupiers.[6]

The company ceased brewing in 1991 to concentrate on running pubs and hotels.[7]

In 1999, the tenanted wing of the Greenall's operation was sold to the Japanese bank, Nomura for £370 million[8] and the main Greenall's operation, involving 770 pubs and 69 budget lodges, was sold to Scottish and Newcastle for £1.1billion.[9] Greenalls started to focus its resources on its De Vere and Village Leisure hotel branding at that time.[9]

In February 2005, Greenalls sold The Belfry to The Quinn Group for £186 million.[10]

The Greenall family connection remained as Lord Daresbury, the descendant of the original founder, remained the non-executive chairman. This tie was severed in 2006 when Daresbury stepped down from the post and much of the family's interest was sold.[11]

In 2006, the business, by then known as De Vere Group, was acquired by The Alternative Hotels Group plc, a joint venture between HBOS and eight investors led by Richard Balfour-Lynn,[12] for £745.5 million.[13] The Alternative Hotels Group plc renamed itself De Vere Group in 2010.[14]

De Vere Group sold Greenall's London Dry Gin for £7 million in a private equity-backed management buyout in 2011.[15] Balfour-Lynn also stood down as chief executive in 2011.[16]

In March 2014, private equity firm Starwood Capital acquired the business, by then known as De Vere Venues, and integrated it into Principal Hayley Group which it already owned.[17]

In November 2014, Village Urban Resorts were sold to Denver-based private equity firm KSL Capital Partners for £485m.[18]

In November 2016, Principal Hayley Group went through a major rebranding and re-investment project; the group became known as the Principal Hotel Company and split their portfolio between two groups of hotels: De Vere (a group of modern country estate hotels) and Principal (a group of luxury city hotels).[19]


Greenall's ales are distributed by Carlsberg and brewed for them by Molson Coors in Burtonwood, near Warrington.[20] Greenall's ales can still be bought in some pubs in the North West of England, although they are gradually disappearing. Often, only Greenall's Mild can be found. Greenall's Bitter is 3.6% ABV.[21] Greenall's Mild is 3.1%.[21]


  1. ^ "A Century of Cheshire Brewers". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Greenall Whitley (Wilderspool)". Brewery History Society.
  3. ^ Groves & Whitnall Brewery
  4. ^ Nottinghamshire Breweries Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b "1963 Greenall Whitley And Co. Ltd". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Wilderspool Business Park". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  7. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 14 Nov 1991". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  8. ^ Nomura set for 375m pound pub spree The Scotsman, 7 November 1998
  9. ^ a b Greenalls pubs go Scottish BBC News, 14 September 1999
  10. ^ Quinn buys Belfrey Golf Course Guardian, 11 February 2005
  11. ^ Daresbury steps down at De Vere to break 244 years of family ties The Times, 18 January 2006
  12. ^ Lloyds-backed Alternative Hotels Group may be sold Daily Mail, 12 February 2011
  13. ^ Group completes De Vere buy-up Liverpool Daily Post, 6 September 2006
  14. ^ The Alternative Hotel Group renamed as the De Vere Group Caterer Search, 17 December 2010
  15. ^ De Vere sells historic gin distiller Insider Media, 8 August 2011 Archived 18 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Balfour-Lynn steps down from De Vere Group Caterer Search, 19 September 2011
  17. ^ "Starwood Capital buys De Vere Venues". Big hospitality. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  18. ^ "KSL Capital to acquire De Vere's Village Urban Resorts". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  19. ^ "How Starwood's new Principal brand will shake up city centres nationwide". 2016-11-01.
  20. ^ "Thomas Hardy Burtonwood (Molson Coors)". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  21. ^ a b Draught Portfolio