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CI Traders sells mainland pub operations

From The Publican


CI Traders (CIT) has sold its Blubeckers pub restaurant operation on the UK mainland to the Restaurant Group.

Channel Island based CIT is banking £27.05m from the deal, which includes the 17 family-orientated Blubeckers and Edwinns outlets in the South East of England.

The operations achieved sales of £15.6m in the year to the end of January, generating a pre-tax profit of £1.4m.

The outlets are brasserie-style restaurants with pre-eating bar areas. The Restaurant Group, which operates brands such as Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkel's and Chiquito's, said the deal offers scope to develop its business in a segment of the eating out market with good prospects for growth.

Alan Jackson (pictured), executive chairman of The Restaurant Group, said: "The acquisition of Blubeckers represents an exciting opportunity for further growth.

"It operates in a market with excellent potential and one that meets each of our three key strategic criteria. We have acquired a business with two well respected and established brands, a good portfolio of sites and an experienced management team.

"We intend to further develop the potential of the existing units and to add new ones."

The deal marks an exit from pub and restaurant operations on the UK mainland for CIT, formed by the merger of Jersey's Ann Street Brewery with the Le Riche retail group. Ann Street's West Country-based Lionheart Inns pub chain was sold in 2002.