The White Horse Inn in Launceston is one of a number of Cornish pubs migrating away from St Austell Brewery after being acquired by a new business. 

The White Horse, is set to be purchased by Red Oak Taverns, an independent business which owns 212 pubs across the country. 

The company are purchasing 17 pubs across Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset, including the White Horse Inn. 

The business has already made several acquisitions in 2023, from companies including Everards, McMullen’s and Marston’s, and the hope is that this purchase will further extend Red Oak’s south west footprint.

Mark Grunnell, chief executive, Red Oak Taverns, who co-founded the business in 2011 with executive chairman, Aaron Brown, said: “We are delighted that St Austell Brewery, a fellow independent business with a rich history of running great pubs, chose to work with us in selling these assets. We’re committed to the continued growth of our pub portfolio and this package of acquisitions will further strengthen Red Oak’s presence in the south west region.

“It’s important to us that we ensure ongoing consistency for pub guests and our new tenants, and I would like to thank Kevin and the team at St Austell Brewery for working positively with us to effect a smooth transfer for these community assets.

“We’re looking forward to working in partnership with all 17 of our new licensees in this exciting new chapter, providing ongoing support to help their businesses thrive.”

Kevin Georgel, chief executive, St Austell Brewery said: “Red Oak Taverns is a committed and respected operator, with a growing pub estate and a strong track record of running successful wet-led community pubs. We’ve been working very closely with the team in the last couple of weeks to ensure a smooth transition for our licensees.

“Unlocking the full potential of our pub estate is a priority for us, as we continue to develop our business for the future. As part of our commitment to ongoing investment and growth, we are continuing to proactively manage our estate, aligned to our refreshed and focused strategy. This means ensuring all our pubs have a strong alignment with our long-term plans and continue to fit our focus in terms of market and consumer positioning.

“As a business, which is committed to supporting its tenanted partners and investing in its pubs, we are confident that Red Oak is the best possible custodian for these pubs and will ensure their ongoing success.”

Landlord and landlady of The White Horse, Dan and Viki said: "As recent tenants of this well known and long established Pub in Launceston, we are looking forward to working with Red Oak Taverns to continue to bring the White Horse Inn back to winning form and would like to reassure customers that its business as usual

"We have enjoyed building a relationship with St Austell Brewery and remain grateful for both theirs and the tremendous support we have received from customers and patrons old and new. In these extremely challenging times its vital we have a pubco partner whose strategy and vision is closely aligned with our own and that it is the best fit for the White Horse, Launceston itself and the people who we are grateful to serve. 

“Whilst we shall miss the strong Cornish connection and heritage aspect of St Austell Brewery we know Red Oak have a strong presence in Cornwall and across the South West and are experts in community wet let pubs such as ours and this will be invaluable in these challenging times for the hospitality trade"