Founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs John Weir and John Sands, Wear Inns focuses on the acquisition and management of freehold community pubs across the North East and Yorkshire. The business is headquartered in Billingham, County Durham and employs more than 200 people.
To support the growth of Wear Inns' portfolio, BGF invested £8m as part of a £10m funding round with NVM Private Equity in May 2012. At that time, the business operated 15 pubs including The Townhouse in Whitley Bay, Millstone in Gosforth, Black Bull in East Boldon and New Inn in Durham.
Following the investment, in July 2012, Weir and Sands purchased nine pubs from TCG Bars, including The Bedroom in Whitley Bay, Black Bull in Morpeth, Greens in Sunderland, Lambton Arms in Chester-le-Street.
In October 2012, the business acquired The Colonel Prior in Sunderland and The Park in Bradford, bringing the pub estate total to 26 premises.
On average, Wear Inns has succeeded in improving the turnover of its pubs by around 90 percent within six months of their acquisition and refurbishment. Wear Inns has more than trebled its sales since BGF's investment, with net revenues now totaling £8m.
Before setting up Wear Inns, Chairman John Sands developed the Hartlepool-based 'Pubmaster' chain into one of the largest in the UK, selling the 3,200 pub estate in 2003. John Weir was Retail Director for Bass/M&B, mainly responsible for the North East and North of England before joining John Sands at Pubmaster.