21 July 2006
Disposal of freestanding pub restaurants
Whitbread PLC ("Whitbread") announced today that it has agreed to sell 239 of
its freestanding pub restaurant sites (the "Disposal Estate") to Mitchells &
Butlers plc for £497 million. The Disposal Estate comprises 235 trading pub
restaurants located throughout the United Kingdom and 4 pub restaurants not yet
open for trade.
The consideration is payable in cash and includes contingent deferred
consideration of up to £7 million. Completion of the transaction is expected on
28th July 2006. Whitbread will initially use the proceeds from the transaction
to pay down debt while it reviews its options for creating shareholder value.
Maintaining an efficient balance sheet structure going forwards remains a
priority for the company.
The aggregate net book value of the Disposal Estate, included in the
consolidated balance sheet as at 1st March 2006, was £280.9 million. The
Disposal Estate made a profit contribution before allocation of central overhead
of £37.5 million in the year ended 1st March 2006.
Alan Parker, Whitbread PLC Chief Executive commented:
"We are very pleased that the sale process has been completed so successfully in
terms of both value and speed. We can now focus on operating those sites that
combine a pub restaurant with a Premier Travel Inn - a combination that has
produced some of the highest returns in the industry. We will also be
progressing our programme of adding around 3,000 new rooms on our existing pub
restaurant sites. We see substantial opportunities for further profitable
growth from these combined sites."
For more information please contact:
Christopher Rogers, Group Finance Director, Whitbread PLC +44 (0) 1582 396 581
Miranda Acland, Tulchan +44 (0) 20 7353 4200
Celia Gordon Shute, Tulchan +44 (0) 20 7353 4200
Brian Magnus, Morgan Stanley +44 (0) 20 7425 5000
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange