Amber Taverns’ 45 pubs have self-employed live-in managers who receive a percentage of the weekly sales, a model the company claims is unique in its sector. Its pubs are spread across the north of England, from Stoke to Newcastle. They serve premium beers at competitive prices, and offer up to eight flat-screen televisions showing a range of Sky sports programmes. Chairman Clive Preston came out of retirement in 2001 to set up a similar pub chain, which was sold in 2005. He then set up Amber Taverns with a group of colleagues and the backing of venture-capital investors Acuity Capital, Unicorn Asset Management and MaxCap Partners. In April this year they bought 23 pubs that were owned by Liverpool’s Cains brewery before it went into administration. Sales grew 77% a year from an annualised £1.3m in 2006 to £7m in 2009.
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