Bury St Edmunds: Greene King in �70m deal for Capital

PUBS and brewing group Greene King today unveiled a �70milion deal to strengthen its presence in London.

The Bury St Edmunds-based company has reached agreement with the board of The Capital Pub Company which is recommending a cash offer of 235p per share.

Capital, which last month rejected a takeover approach by London brewer Fullers, runs 34 pubs and its acquisition will bring Greene King’s portfolio in the capital to around 250.

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: “The proposed acquisition represents another firm step as we continue to expand our presence in London.

“Capital Pubs would bring a further 34 premium pub assets and take our Greater London estate to approximately 250 at a time when London is outperforming the national pub market.

“This offer represents a fair price for a high quality, largely freehold pub estate. Capital Pubs is a premium London pub company that fully meets our criteria as we continue to progress our retail expansion strategy.

“Capital Pubs’ estate fits well within the Greene King portfolio and we intend to combine it with our recently acquired Realpubs business, thereby generating attractive cost and revenue synergies”.

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Clive Watson, chief executive of Capital Pubs, added: “Greene King is an excellent cultural fit with Capital Pubs and will be a good home both for the business and for our staff.

“Greene King is renowned for nurturing the businesses it acquires and I have every confidence that Capital Pubs will continue to develop under its ownership.

“We have recommended Greene King’s deal to shareholders as we believe it reflects both our high quality business and its prospects”.

Greene said it had already received irrevocable untertaings to accept its offer in respect of about 33.68% of Capital’s shares, including undertakings from its directors representing around 9.77% of the company.

These commitments would remain binding in the event of a competiting offer being made for Capital, it added.