Greene King completes £774m acquisition of Spirit Pub Company

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King. - Credit: Archant

Greene King’s acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company was formally completed today, with trading in shares in the enlarged company due to begin at 8am tomorrow.

Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King declared its offer unconditional earlier this month, despite some minor regulatory issues.

Its offer for Spirit was originally conditional upon the deal being cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Concerns raised by the CMA have been limited to 16 local areas, none of them in East Anglia, and the authority has said it is minded to accept an undertaking from Greene King to sell a pub in each of the localities where it believes competition would be affected.

The CMA’s final ruling is still subject to consultation but Greene King has opted to complete the deal rather than await the outcome.

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: “I am delighted to announce the completion of the acquisition of Spirit, bringing together two successful companies to create the UK’s leading managed pub company.

“Our focus now turns to building a combined business of our best brands, people, locations, and processes to ensure we succeed in the eating and drinking out markets for the long term.

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“As we begin this exciting new phase in our history, Greene King will continue to focus on creating a great place to work for our people, delivering industry-leading value, service and quality to our customers and maximising value for our shareholders.”

Based on Greene King’s share price at the time of its offer last November, the deal values Spirit at £774million.

The enlarged business has an estate of around 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels, including 1,800 under direct management, and is expected to general annual revenue of more than £2.1billion, with earnings of around £490m.