Punch Taverns has agreed to sell off 290 managed pubs from its Spirit Group deal to Orchid Pubs, a company formed by US private equity firm GI Partners, raising #571 million in cash.
Giles Thorley, chief executive of Burton-on-Trent-based Punch, said yesterday: "The transaction represents the first major disposal by Punch following the acquisition of Spirit in January and is wholly in line with our strategy to streamline the managed house business whilst converting a further 740 pubs to our core leased estate."
Punch said the sale of the 290 pubs formed part of the planned disposal of 380 outlets announced at the time of the group's interim results on May 22. It said the proceeds from the sale - which may be subject to shareholder approval - would be used primarily to reduce short term debt.
The 290 managed pubs include a number branded under the Country Carvery, Q's and Bar Room Bar formats. The remainder are being sold unbranded. Punch said that for the year to April 22 they generated revenues of #230.7 million - equivalent to an average weekly turnover of approximately #15,300.