Greene King sold to Hong Kong investor for £2.7 billion

21 Août, 2019, 21:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Li retired from active business in May 2018 handing over the chairmanship of CK Asset and CK Hutchison to Victor Li the

Slug and Lettuce chain owner Stonegate last month agreed to buy larger rival Ei Group for 1.27 billion pounds, while Japanese brewer Asahi Group said it would snap up the British beer business of Fuller, Smith & Turner.

Including debt, the deal value amounts to £4.6 billion, though some analysts said that the cash value should be higher.

The company also declared its confidence in Greene King's established position as well as its attractive real estate assets and resilient financial profile.

The property development and investment firm, which has had dealings with Greene King through a portfolio of pubs leased to it, is making the offer through a wholly-owned subsidiary known as CK Bidco.

The board at Greene King, which has earnings of around £482m and employs 38,000 staff across the United Kingdom, is unanimously recommending the deal to shareholders, who will have a chance to vote on it later in the year.

CKA believes it can improve the "sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of Greene King" and is banking on pubs remaining "an important part of British culture and the eating and drinking out market in the long run".

Greene King's board of directors has voted "unanimously to recommend" that shareholders approve the deal.

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The company recent revalued its property estate at £4.5bn, according to analysts that follow the company. "With CKA taking it private I would not be surprised to see this accelerate".

Green King's revenue rose by 1.8% to £2.2bn in the year to the end of April.

In its announcement on the CKA deal, Greene King reassured that there were no plans for "material changes" to be made to group and management staff numbers nor an intention to "initiate any material head-count reductions within the Greene King organisation as a result of the acquisition".

Johnson said a bid of 950p-a-share, valuing Greene King at £3bn, would be more compelling.

Greene King in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

CK Asset Holdings Ltd, founded by Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-Shing, today agreed to buy pub operator Greene King Plc for 850 pence per share. The company, which is listed in Hong Kong, was spun off from Ka-shing's main holding company in 2015.

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