Greene King in pubs sell-off

SUFFOLK-based pubs and brewing group Greene King yesterday agreed the sale of 155 pubs as part of a strategy to focus on top-performing sites.The £56million deal with fast-growing pub company Admiral was accompanied by news of an agreement for Greene King to supply its beers to Admiral's entire estate of pubs which now numbers around 1,950.

SUFFOLK-based pubs and brewing group Greene King yesterday agreed the sale of 155 pubs as part of a strategy to focus on top-performing sites.

The £56million deal with fast-growing pub company Admiral was accompanied by news of an agreement for Greene King to supply its beers to Admiral's entire estate of pubs which now numbers around 1,950.

Admiral, jointly owned by the Landesberg and Rosenberg families, was founded in March 2004 with the intention of building a leased and tenanted business.

It now ranks as the UK's third largest operator of tenanted and leased pubs, having already added significantly to its portfolio earlier this year with the acquisition of 769 pubs from Enterprise Inns in a deal valued at £318million.

Chief executive Gary Landesberg said yesterday: “This transaction enhances the quality of our estate. These are typical high quality Greene King pubs located in some of the most attractive locations in the south of England.”

Greene King's pub estate had grown to more than 2,000 sites after deals in the last 18 months involving Nottinghamshire-based Hardys & Hansons, Essex brewer Ridley's and Belhaven in Scotland.

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Chief executive Rooney Anand said: “Greene's King drive to improve the quality of our estate has meant that we have long been sellers as well as buyers of pub assets.

“Today's deal marks another step in this strategy at a sensible price and we are also pleased with the supply agreement for our ales into the enlarged Admiral estate.”