Tapping into Knowledge; the Licensing & Leisure Industry in Association With: Sanderson Weatherall A Valuation Surveyor Can Advise Pub and Hotel Owners on Maximising the Value of Their Premises, Says James Laidler

Article excerpt

Byline: James Laidler

NOT so long ago, a valuer did just that - value things. He used his experience and his judgment of the market, telling clients such as banks what the assets they were thinking of lending against were worth, owners what they should get if they tried to sell and would-be buyers what they ought to pay.

Today, however, especially if he works in the pub and restaurant sector, the valuer's job is becoming closer to that of a business consultant.

Staff in the valuations departments at companies, such as Christie and Co are increasingly being called upon for evaluation of brands and strategy as well as its bricks and mortar. They are being asked to assess ways to maximise a property's value - advising on a pub's viability or on alternative uses.

The client is generally the would-be buyer, who may be a traditional pubco, one of the newer property-driven pub owners, or even a private equity lender seeking a home for money.

In the first case, if the deal is a particularly large one, such as Punch's purchase of Pubmaster, it is useful for the pubco to have an outside evaluation. It also takes the pressure off its own estates department. Valuers are used to producing rapid, detailed reports.

In the case of a buyer from the investment sector, the prospective purchasers may know a great deal about property, but not much about the pub market. They will want to know from the valuer not only what the pubs are worth, which is normally based on the current turnover or profit, but whether they are being marketed and operated properly and if more is achievable.

Many of the current buyers have different requirements from their advisers - they may have little or no direct experience of the pub market. They look to valuers for sector-based advice.

But they do understand how to maximise the potential for alternative use. …