Private equity groups and property investors are having a “pretty disastrous” effect on the British pub industry, the founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon has warned.

Tim Martin, an industry veteran of 30 years, said that along with overzealous regulation, the excessive debt taken on by private equity and property investors in the pub sector was 'running down' the institution that is the British pub.

'A number of private equityowned pub companies, which are actually making huge losses after [paying] interest...are going to have financial problems – that’s going to be the dominant headline for the next two years,' he said.

The 53-year-old said stupidity and greed played a role in the collapse of pub groups such as Laurel Pub Company and Orchid Group

Financial Times