Whitbread has agreed to sell 239 of its pub and restaurant sites to Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) for £497m, it was announced this morning.
The estate consists of 235 trading pub-restaurants across the UK and four pub restaurants currently under development. The transaction is expected to be completed next Friday, July 28.
Alan Parker, Whitbread chief executive said: "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 see substantial opportunities for further profitable growth from these combined sites."
Tim Clarke, M&B's chief executive said: "With this transaction, we have secured 239 of the best pub-restaurant sites in the UK - as defined by their locations, their scale, and above all their sales and profits potential.
"The acquisition represents exceptional value compared with greenfield site developmentsand the conversion of these sites to our brands and formats will enable us to create substantial shareholder value from this acquisition and accelerate Mitchells & Butlers' growth.
"Notwithstanding this acquisition it is very pleasing to confirm that we are still expecting to return of the order of £500m to shareholders."
Other companies that were understood to be in the running for the acquisition were Punch Taverns, GI Partners and Greene King.