Blast or­ders


Daily Star - - NEWS - ■ by NADEEM BAD­SHAH nadeem.bad­shah@dai­

HUN­DREDS of booz­ers could be forced to call last or­ders af­ter the shock Hong Kong takeover of a pub chain.

Greene King, which op­er­ates 2,730 pubs, restau­rants and hotels across the UK, has been snapped up by prop­erty de­vel­oper CK As­set Hold­ings in a deal val­ued at around £4.6bil­lion.

And an­a­lysts fear the firm may now cash in on their new port­fo­lio by turn­ing the prop­er­ties into flats and su­per­mar­kets.

Neil Wil­son, inset, chief mar­ket an­a­lyst at Mar­kets, said the “whop­ping pre­mium im­plies CKA sees sig­nif­i­cant value in the prop­erty port­fo­lio”.

And he added: “Greene King re­cently car­ried out a reval­u­a­tion of its prop­erty es­tate that in­di­cated a mar­ket value of £4.5bn against the £3.5bn book value.

“In the last fi­nan­cial year the com­pany dis­posed of 41 trad­ing pubs in Pub Com­pany, 69 trad­ing pubs in Pub Part­ners and six closed pubs – 116 in all. “With CKA tak­ing it pri­vate I would not be sur­prised to see this ac­cel­er­ate.” Di­rec­tors at Greene King voted “unan­i­mously to rec­om­mend” share­hold­ers back the of­fer. The com­pany was founded in Bury St Ed­munds in 1799.

The deal comes seven months af­ter Brit firm Fuller’s sold its brew­ing arm to a Ja­panese com­pany.

BIT­TER END: Greene King

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