Nomura drinks to pub exits

Cinven and Enterprise Inns have won the battle to acquire Unique Pub Company and Voyager Pub Group from Nomura International. The two groups were put up for sale earlier this month with a price tag of between £2 billion and £2.2billion. Pub operators Enterprise Inns and Punch were both in the running to acquire the businesses.

Nomura acquired Voyager’s 990 pubs from Bass in March 2001 for £625 million and snapped up Unique from British brewer Courage and Grand Metropolitan in September 1997 for £1.2 billion. Unique comprises 3,300 pubs.

The deal, valued at £2,013 million sees the Cinven-led consortium, including Morgen Stanley’s Princes Gate Investors and Legal & General Ventures, committing £372 million for an 83.2 per cent stake in Newco, a company incorporated in the UK to purchase the pub estate. The investment is being made alongside Enterprise Inns, a UK operator of tenanted pubs, who has taken a 16.8 per cent stake in Newco. In total, the pub estate consists of 4,189 pubs and generates EBITDA of over £220 million.

Under the terms of a shareholder agreement, Enterprise Inns has been granted a call option by the Cinven consortium to purchase the balance of equity in the group. Ted Tuppen, chief executive of Enterprise Inns, said: “The investment in Newco and the call option after two years allows Enterprise Inns to develop and implement a strategy for integration and value creation. This secures immediate benefits and long term quality and earnings growth potential for Enterprise Inns’ shareholders.”