Greene King to be sold to Hong Kong property giant
PUBLISHED: 16:37 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:43 20 August 2019
A Hong Kong multinational is poised to snap up Bury St Edmunds-based pubs and brewery giant Greene King as part of an eye-watering £2.7bn deal.
The Greene King board has recommended approving a deal which would see the firm being bought by CK Asset Holdings - but its Suffolk headquarters is safe.
The property development and investment firm, which has had dealings with Greene King through a portfolio of pubs leased to it, is making the offer through a wholly-owned subsidiary known as CK Bidco.
The board at Greene King, which has earnings of around £482m and employs 38,000 staff across the UK, is unanimously recommending the deal to shareholders, who will have a chance to vote on it later in the year.
Board chairman Philip Yea said they were "confident" in the long-term prospects of the business "but believes this offer represents a good opportunity for shareholders to realise value for their investment at an attractive premium, while also ensuring the future success of Greene King for employees, partners, customers and suppliers".
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Chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: "Greene King has a well-invested estate in prime locations, leading brands, a rich history and a talented team of circa 38,000 people serving millions of customers across the country every week.
"CKA is an experienced UK investor and shares many of Greene King's business philosophies. They understand the strengths of our business and we welcome their commitment to working with the existing management team, evolving the strategy and investing in the business to ensure its continued long term growth."
George Magnus, chairman designate of CK Bidco, said it looked for businesses with "stable and resilient" characteristics and strong cash flow.
"The UK pub and brewing sector shares these characteristics and we believe that this sector will continue to be an important part of British culture and the eating and drinking out market in the long run," he said.
"Greene King, being a leading integrated pub retailer and brewer with strong real estate backing, is well positioned to capture the opportunities that lie ahead."