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14/02/2001

Bass sells 988 pubs

h2>Bass sells 988 pubs

Bass PLC ("Bass") today, 14 February 2001, announces that it has agreed to sell its interest in 981 managed and seven tenanted pubs in its unbranded retail estate to a company formed and financed by Nomura International plc's Principal Finance Group for a total of £625 million to be settled in cash. Completion, which is expected to take place no later than 28 March 2001, is not subject to any significant conditions.

The employees of these pubs, together with a corporate management team of some 80 people, will move with the business to the new owners when the transaction is completed.

In the year ended 30 September 2000, the pubs being sold generated earnings before interest and tax of £75 million after associated variable central costs of £5 million. The net asset value at 30 September 2000 was £622 million. It is intended that the proceeds of the disposal will be reinvested in Bass' core businesses.

The sale of these smaller unbranded pubs with average weekly takes of £6,600 will enable Bass Leisure Retail to focus on the further development of its estate of some 2,000 larger outlets which already achieve average weekly takes of over £13,000.

Commenting on the sale Tim Clarke, Chief Executive said "The sale of these pubs marks another major step forward in the repositioning of our retail estate towards high return branded restaurants, bars and pubs."

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For further information, please contact:

Mark Rigby, Media Relations - 020 7409 8571
Jonathan Atack, Investor Relations - 020 7409 8153

Notes to editors:

Bass is an international leisure hospitality group operating in hotels, leisure retail and branded drinks.
  • Bass Hotels & Resorts is the world's leading global hotel group whose brands include Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites. It owns, operates or franchises more than 3,000 hotels and 490,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries around the world.
  • Bass Leisure Retail is the UK's leading managed restaurant, pubs and bars group with some 3,000 outlets including brands such as Vintage Inns, Harvester, Toby, Browns, All Bar One, It's A Scream, O'Neill's, Edwards, Ember Inns and Goose.
  • Britvic Soft Drinks is one of the leading UK producers and distributors of branded soft drinks with brands such as Tango, Robinsons, Britvic and the UK franchise for Pepsi.

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