Royal Bank of Scotland appointed
Following the successful demerger of Mitchells & Butlers plc (“MAB”), the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc as the lead arranger to progress the structured financing for the Company.
The Board expects to realise increased shareholder value through higher leverage and a return of surplus funds to shareholders, whilst maintaining a financing structure compatible with an equity based growth strategy and a progressive dividend policy.
It remains a key priority of the Board of the newly separated company, in consultation with rating agencies and other parties, to establish more specifically the amount and terms of the structured debt. This will determine the surplus funds available to be returned to shareholders, in line with the declared operational and shareholder reward objectives of the Group.
A further update on progress with the refinancing of the Group will be given at the interim results on 22 May 2003.
Since the AGM statement, trading has continued at the improved levels seen since December partly due to the recent increase in promotional activity and also the spell of good weather. The actions we are taking to raise staff productivity and reduce support costs continue to mitigate the increases we are seeing this year in pensions and regulatory costs. Overall, the Board anticipates that trading in the first half, which unlike last year does not include the important Easter trading period, will be in line with expectations.
For further information, please contact:
Mitchells & Butlers plc
Bob Cartwright Tel: 0121 498 4298 or 0780809 4298
Kate Holligon Tel: 020 7409 8146
Investor Relations email@example.com
James Murgatroyd 020 7251 3801
Note to Editors:MAB is the UK's leading operator of managed pubs, with sales of approximately £1.5 billion, EBITDA of £375 million and operating profit of £289 million (for the financial year 2002). MAB has a high quality estate of over 2,100 pubs, bars and restaurants which are predominantly large freehold sites in residential areas and which generate high average weekly sales (approximately three times the industry average). MAB has the leading brand portfolio in the UK pub sector including Ember Inns, Vintage Inns, Toby Carvery, Harvester, O’Neill's, Scream, All Bar One and Browns. As at 30 September 2002, MAB had tangible fixed assets with a net book value of approximately £3.5 billion.