Bar groups will merge to create new €40m business
The companies behind some of Dublin's most high-profile pubs - including The George and Whelan's - have confirmed that they are to merge to create one of the country's biggest entertainment groups.
The merger of The Mercantile Group and Capital Bars will result in a chain of 12 outlets. The new group will employ about 600 people and generate annual sales of €40m.
The Mercantile Group is owned by Frank Gleeson, and its outlets include the famous Whelan's pub on Wexford Street, as well as properties including Opium and the South William Bar in the city.
It also owns well-regarded restaurants including the Green Hen and Pichet.
As well as The George, the Capital Bars group includes pubs such as Howl at the Moon and Café en Seine.
Staff at the venues had been reportedly told of the planned merger before Christmas.
In 2014, Danu Investment Partners headed a consortium that bought the remaining businesses of the Capital Bars group, which included Café en Seine and three other venues, for €15m - some €3m more than the guide price. Mr Gleeson said the merger is "transformational" for the businesses.