Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Greene King is reportedly looking to sell a package of about 150 tenanted pubs, most of them in the South of England. According to The Times, Greene King has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to advise it on the sale process. The pubs, most of which are freeholds, are said to be a mix of smaller, drinks-led operations and sites with property redevelopment potential. The Times says several pub companies are looking to “offload” wet-led pubs ahead of the smoking ban. It reports that Wolverhampton & Dudley,Enterprise Inns , Punch Taverns and Mitchells & Butlers have also put packages up for sale in recent months.

Greene King to sell 150 English pubs: Pubs affected likely to be hit by smoking ban
18 October, 2006. By Hamish Champ

Greene King is selling around 150 pubs in England that are likely to face problems under the up-coming smoking ban, due next summer. The group’s chief executive Rooney Anand confirmed a report in today's Times that Greene King has earmarked the wet-led pubs for sale.
Most of the sites are freeholds, small, and said to have property development potential.

Anand said the report “was true”, and added that the pubs affected were of a high quality but no longer met the group’s estate criteria. “For anyone playing a scale game these pubs would fit,” he said. Greene King had often sold “high quality, lucrative” venues, he added, when they didn’t meet the model Greene King had in place.

Greene King told analysts during a recent tour of some of its Scottish estate that around 12 per cent of its pubs north of the border and some six per cent of those in England would be adversely affected by the smoking bans.

The brewer owns around 2,600 pubs in the UK, following its acquisition of Nottingham-based brewer Hardys & Hansons.

Greene King Recent History

By the early 1960s Greene King owned over 900 pubs.

Its more recent pub acquisitions have included:

The Magic Pub Company (273 pubs, in 1996)

Beards of Sussex (43 pubs, in 1998)

The Marston’s southern estate (165 pubs, in 1999)

Morland (422 pubs, Old Speckled Hen and Ruddles, in 1999)

Old English Inns (136 pubs, in September 2001)

Dalgety Taverns (8 pubs in Scotland, in April 2002)

Morrells of Oxford (107 pubs, in June 2002)

Laurel Pub Company (432 pubs) in August 2004

T D Ridley & Sons Limited (73 pubs) in July 2005

Belhaven Group (271 pubs) in September 2005

Hardy and Hansons (268 pubs) in June 2006

It now owns about 2,680 pubs.

Over the same period its record with breweries acquired is:

Morlands - acquired 1999: closed

Ridleys - acquired 2005: closed

Belhaven Brewery - acquired 2005 - brewery still open (in Dunbar)

Hardy and Hansons - acquired 2006: closed by Christmas

Greene King to close Hardys & Hansons Kimberley brewery; 80 jobs at risk

LONDON (AFX) October 3 - Greene King PLC, the East Anglian-based brewer and pubs group, will close the Hardy & Hansons brewery at Kimberley, Nottingham, putting around 80 jobs at risk. The group, which acquired Hardys & Hansons for £270m earlier this year, said that following a review of the business it made 'no economic sense' to continue brewing at the site. Production is scheduled to stop by the end of this year.

'The review has given us a very detailed understanding of the company and has underlined the quality of the business we've acquired. But we've concluded with regret that it doesn't make economic sense to continue brewing at Kimberley and sadly this means that the brewery will close at the end of the year,' said Greene King s chief executive Rooney Anand.

Production will be switched to Greene King's Bury St Edmunds site. The head office functions will also be moved there by the end of December.

'Greene King invests more in cask beer than any other brewer but, to remain viable, returns have to be delivered on this investment. The best way to ensure that Hardys & Hansons' brands continue to flourish in a challenging ale market is to transfer brewing to Bury St Edmunds,' Rooney said.

Greene King will, however, retain the Kimberley's cellar service and distribution business.
'Whilst it will be sad to close the brewery, we are pleased that the value of our activities in distribution, cellar services and sales, as well as throughout our extensive pub operations, has been recognised,' said Jonathan Webster, managing director of Hardys & Hansons.

Support Hardy and Hansons brewery on the CAMRA site here


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