AN historic hotel in Moreton-in-Marsh has new owners, but it will be business as usual for the historic venue’s staff and management.


The former boss of pubs giant Greene King has bought the company that owns the town’s White Hart Royal on the town’s High Street.


Rooney Anand, who ran Greene King for 14 years, has snapped up the The Coaching Inn Group's 18 historic buildings through his investment vehicle, RedCat Pub Company.


The Coaching Inn Group was founded in 1996 and has sites mainly in historic market towns, including the Peak District and Cambridgeshire, as well as The Feathers in Ludlow, Herefordshire.


The hotel was twice visited by Charles I during the Civil War. In fact, the earliest surviving proof of its existence concerns this royal visitor, which confirms it was operational in 1644. However, its trading history is almost certainly much older. 


Given its location at the crossroads of the Fosse Way and a major coaching route from Worcester, and beyond, to London, it’s conceivable that it was built as an inn during the 1500s or 1400s — and even that a predecessor building was erected on this site as an inn during the 1200s.


In 2018, it was announced that the hotel had been bought by the Coaching Inn Group as part of a £50 million expansion programme. 


The current boss of the hotel group Kevin Charity and finance chief Edward Walsh will continue to lead and run the business within RedCat, and to build on its “presence, scale and momentum”, the company said.


The amount paid has not been disclosed.


RedCat was launched in February of this year following the raising of £200 million from investors through its partner, Oaktree Capital Management.


It recently bought 42 pubs across England and Wales from Stonegate Pub Company and remains on the look out to acquire more sites.


Bosses are looking to buy both retail and tenanted pubs, as well as pub hotels across the UK to support their growth after emerging from the pandemic.


Mr Anand, executive chairman of RedCat, said: “I am delighted that the Coaching Inn Group is becoming part of RedCat. It’s a business I’ve long admired and Kevin Charity is a class act. I look forward to building our pub hotels business and building our business together.”


Mr Charity said: “I’m confident that, with RedCat’s support, we can continue our momentum and grow our footprint of historic pub hotels.”