Brewer is taking his Old Monk to market

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The Independent Online
THE BROTHER OF Tim Martin, chief executive of pub group JD Wetherspoon, is maintaining the family tradition by bringing his Old Monk Company chain of pubs to the stock market.

Gerry Martin, a former development manager at Wetherspoon's, controls 80 per cent of Old Monk, which is expected to be valued at around pounds 14m when it comes to the Alternative Investment Market next month.

The float, that is being conducted via a placing, will raise pounds 3m for expansion.

Founded in 1995 Old Monk Company has 18 managed pubs, mainly in the City of London and the South East. The plan is to increase the chain to 30 pubs next year and 50 within three years. The group recorded pre-tax profits of pounds 489,000 on turnover of pounds 6.4m in 1997.

The strategy is to expand the Old Monk pub concept though the group also operates two Springbok bars in central London. These are designed to cater for visiting South Africans.

Mr Martin was a "bit" concerned about the current volatility in stock markets, but did not think conditions would de-rail his float. "I think there will still be the appetite out there for quality companies," he said.