Almost 150 pubs in Surrey and Hampshire including many in the Farnham, Haslemere, Alton and Petersfield areas are at risk of closure, says the GMB union.

Private equity parent company TDR Capital is seeking to refinance £2.5 billion of debt amassed by the pub company Stonegate.

The GMB warns increased interest payments on this massive debt could lead to loss of many Stonegate community pubs, which in East Hampshire and Waverley include:

East Hampshire

  • The White Horse, 96-98 High Street, Alton
  • The Market Hotel, 3 Market Square, Alton
  • Green Dragon, 2 London Road, Liphook
  • Rising Sun, North Lane, Clanfield
  • Bird In Hand, 269 Lovedean Lane, Waterlooville
  • Queens Head, Village Street, Sheet
  • The George, 28 The Square, Petersfield
  • The Black Sheep, 1 Sheep Street, Petersfield
  • Greatham Inn, Petersfield Road, Greatham


  • Three Compasses, Dunsfold Road, Alfold
  • Wheatsheaf, High Street, Bramley
  • Three Horseshoes, 4 High Street, Cranleigh
  • Golden Fleece, Farnham Road, Elstead
  • Nelsons Arms, 50 Castle Street, Farnham
  • Royal Arms, 172 Farnborough Road, Farnham
  • Slug & Lettuce Farnham, 9–11 East Street, Farnham
  • The Sandrock, Sandrock Hill Road, Farnham
  • Elm Tree, 14 Weybourne Road, Farnham
  • Barley Mow, Tilford, Farnham
  • Volunteer Godalming, 5 Wharf Street, Godalming
  • Swan Inn, 15 High Street, Haslemere
  • Bricklayers Arms, The Green, Shamley Green

Gary Lindsay, boss of TDR Capital which also owns supermarket giant Asda, told the Business and Trade Select Committee on Tuesday, January 9 he was ‘confident’ £2.6 billion of debts in the Stonegate Pub Company could be refinanced this year.

However, with current high interest rates, GMB Union is concerned refinancing could lead to crippling payments to service the debt, 

Stonegate is one of the largest pub companies in the UK, with more than 4,500 pubs and more than 19,000 workers, including brands like Slug and Lettuce, Yates and Walkabout. 

In all, Stonegate has more than 650 pubs in the South East and in Dorset and Wiltshire as follows:

  • Berkshire 71 pubs 
  • Dorset 41 pubs 
  • East Sussex 42 pubs  
  • Hampshire 61 pubs  
  • Isle of Wight 20 pubs  
  • Kent 190 pubs  
  • Oxfordshire 21 pubs  
  • Surrey 87 pubs  
  • West Sussex 65 pubs  
  • Wiltshire 56 pubs  

Huge interest payments on TDR Capital’s debts have already resulted in cost pressures at Asda, which the GMB says has resulted in cuts in hours for staff, cutting corners on health and safety and a rise in a toxic culture of bullying and harassment.

This has already led to a vote for strike action at the Gosport Asda store, currently postponed pending talks at ACAS today (January 11).  

Justin Bowden, GMB Southern Regional Secretary, said: "The problems we are experiencing with private equity owned Asda at Gosport are not confined to just that store.  

“We have experienced similar problems across the stores in the south of England.  

“These problems are exacerbated by the fact that GMB, as the union for Asda staff, has never met the hands-on private equity owners since they took over the business.  

“They boast that they are hard on shareholders, but they keep well away from the results of their hands-on initiatives.  

“They have refused to explain to GMB gaps in the company’s accounts – saying that the 18 companies in their opaque structure are not GMB business.  

“Quite simply, this is not good enough and not acceptable.  

“The position with the Stonegate Pub Company’s finances is equally lacking in transparency, with the ultimate holding company based in the Cayman Islands.  

“TDR Capital must be accountable to local people and they have a duty to safeguard the 650 local pubs which are vital community assets.  

“GMB’s experience with private equity owners has been, and continues to be, wholly negative.  

“We fear for the future of our local supermarkets and pubs in the hands of their private equity owners.  

“We are far from reassured that our members and our communities will not be ripped off as the CMA found happened with the ASDA petrol stations."

A spokesperson for Stonegate said: “We continue to invest in our pubs and our people, in particular supporting local pubs which play such a key role in their communities.

"Our pub business remains very resilient despite the challenges our industry faces, with good like-for-like sales growth across the group.

"Following our recent successful financing announced in December as well as strong recent trading, we are well placed to deliver on our longer term objectives and we are very confident in our ability to re-finance at the appropriate time.”