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London’s Groucho Club sold for £40mn

London’s Groucho Club sold for £40mn

The Groucho Club, the private members’ club famed for its bohemian clientele drawn from London’s art and movie scene, has been marketed to a hospitality venture operate by a former Fortnum & Mason’s chief government in a offer truly worth about £40mn.

Artfarm explained it had obtained the legendary location, situated in London’s Soho district, from a team of investors such as Alcuin Cash Companions, a buyout business that owns espresso chain Caffè Nero.

The offer marks the 3rd time the Groucho has transformed possession in its 37-year history. The club’s new entrepreneurs hope to enhance its 5,000-potent membership by pursuing younger purchasers, and are also looking at international growth.

Launched in 1985, the venue pitched by itself as an antidote to London’s stuffier gentlemen’s clubs, these as the Garrick Club, which nevertheless does not take woman associates.

The Groucho, which has been owned by successive personal equity companies considering the fact that 2006, has in current several years worked to overhaul its sybaritic track record. The location has prolonged been related with the hedonistic revelry of the Younger British Artists, of which Damien Hirst was a part, and London’s media elite.

Artfarm, founded in 2014 by married couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth who very own the world-renowned up to date artwork gallery Hauser & Wirth, run 8 other venues in England, Scotland and Los Angeles.

The group paid out a little bit significantly less than £40mn for the club, in accordance to one particular individual common with the make a difference.

Later on this yr, the enterprise will relaunch The Audley, a 134-calendar year-previous general public house in London’s Mayfair that was designed by Victorian architect Thomas Verity, who also made the exterior of Lord’s Cricket Floor.

Nick Hurrell, chair of the Groucho Club, reported Artfarm was the “perfect owner” for the members’ club. “Their mix of cultural engagement, pedigree in art and excellence in hospitality sits incredibly effectively with the certain spirit of a members’ club that has been an important aspect of London’s cultural existence for quite a few years,” he explained.

The location took its name from a quip from comic Groucho Marx in which he said he did not want to “belong to any club that would acknowledge me as a member”. Its idiosyncratic policies, which comic Stephen Fry helped compose, include things like a ban on string vests and on cellular phones in the bar.

The Groucho owns an artwork collection of about 150 items, which includes performs by Francis Bacon, Peter Blake and Tracey Emin.

Ewan Venters, main govt of Artfarm and a previous Fortnum & Mason manager who is a Groucho member himself, mentioned he “[looked] forward to engaging with its membership to produce a long-phrase foreseeable future for the Groucho that builds on its eclectic attraction and maverick ethos”.

Past yr — when trading was restricted due to Covid-19 limits — the Groucho booked a £3.4mn decline soon after tax on a turnover of £5.4mn.

Non-public members’ golf equipment have benefited from a rush of money in new several years, with traders captivated to their secure subscription model. Very last calendar year, the owner of Soho Household, whose 1st venue is positioned just 60 yards from the Groucho, floated on the New York stock trade.

Membership Collective Group was valued at $1.4bn, as of Wednesday. Soho Home has additional than 122,000 customers across much more than 30 clubs worldwide and is introducing 9 new venues this year by yourself.