Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin gets £44m richer after Tory general election landslide

Pub chain’s share price rises as pound surges on hopes that Brexit uncertainty will be reduced

Ben Chapman
Friday 13 December 2019 16:18 GMT
Question Time member accuses Tim Martin of supporting Brexit to 'line his own pockets'

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin was £44m richer on Friday thanks to a boost from the Conservatives’ election victory. The pub chain owner and prominent Brexit supporter saw the value of his stake in the pub chain jump almost 10 per cent from £487m to £531m.

Mr Martin had backed the Brexit Party, which failed to secure a single seat, but he will likely be pleased with the result in any case after a Tory landslide prompted Wetherspoon shares to rise from 1,482p to 1,619p.

Boris Johnson’s decisive win boosted the pound and sent shares in a number of UK companies soaring on the hopes that uncertainty around Brexit will now fade away.

Mr Martin has been one of the few business leaders to vocally back leaving the EU. He spent £94,856 on pro-Brexit beer mats and has regularly used the pub group’s magazine to promote the benefits of leaving.

The company’s updates to the stock market have also been used as a platform to rail at EU rules and bureaucracy.

In January, Wetherspoon removed a range of European wines and beers from its menu, vowing to swap them for drinks made outside the “protectionist” bloc.

The firm has performed well since the June 2016 referendum after an initial share price blip that saw £30m wiped off the value of Mr Martin’s stake.

Speaking to The Independent at the time, Mr Martin said that any losses were short term and unrelated to the referendum. “No sensible analyst could attribute the price drop to this one event specifically,” he said.

“If you try and judge fluctuations in prices day-to-day all that will happen is you’ll go completely mad and need a heavy dose of valium.”

That assessment has proved to be correct. Wetherspoon has doubled in value since then, adding more than £250m to Mr Martin’s personal wealth.

Earlier this week, Wetherspoon also announced plans to invest more than £200m in pubs and hotels over the next four years, creating around 10,000 jobs.

New pubs and hotels will be opened, and existing pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland will be enlarged.

Most of the investment will be channelled into developments in small and medium-sized towns, but will also include larger towns and cities.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in