A national pub chain with pubs in Weymouth has denied they are at risk of collapse amid claims it is struggling to refinance its debts.

The GMB Union has warned that Stonegate is at risk of a potential collapse, a claim which Stonegate has denied.

Stonegate is the biggest pubs and bars group in the UK and maintains brands including Slug and Lettuce and Popworld.

In Weymouth, Stonegate operates Slug and Lettuce on St Mary Street as well as Rendezvous (including Poworld) and the Royal Oak on the quayside.

It also operates The Dolphin in Blandford and seven other bars in Bournemouth and Poole.

As of September 2023 – months before the committee hearing – Stonegate's accounts showed there was 'material uncertainty' over the refinancing plans, says GMB.

In a letter to Liam Byrne MP, Chair of the Business and Trade Committee, GMB claims TDR was not upfront in answers to Parliament and asks him to recall TDR back in front of the committee. 

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Stonegate has warned that there is no guarantee that it can continue as a going concern, as it struggles to refinance a £2.2bn debt mountain.

GMB said a potential collapse by the pub chain would put 4,400 pubs and thousands of jobs at risk.

Stonegate CEO David McDowall has hit back at GMB saying that venues are not at risk as a result of refinancing its debts.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “TDR bosses have serious questions to answer: why was the committee told there was high confidence of refinancing Stonegate’s debts when the accounts reference 'material uncertainty'? 

“Under TDR Capital, Stonegate has been driven into the ground.  

“TDR Capital’s private equity business model is to heap debt on companies, then leave communities and workers to pick up the pieces when things go wrong.” 

A spokesperson for Stonegate, said: “We are really pleased with the performance of the business in 2023, which included a sector-leading Christmas trading period.

"We have delivered a rise in revenue and a significant increase in profitability.

"We have been very clear that we continue to work towards achieving our long-term balance sheet goals, with the successful refinancing of a portion of our estate in December marking a significant strategic step towards this.

"We would also like to assure our employees and partners that no venues are at risk as a result of this process.”

“TDR Capital has been and continues to be a supportive investor in Stonegate - developing the business over the last fourteen years into the UK’s largest pub company with 4,500 great venues across the country.”