Bar and club bids hit £1billion-mark

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stock market, Nightclub

Bars and nightclubs belonging to some of Britain's biggest operators are set to change hands this month.Deals worth nearly £1bn have been under...

Bars and nightclubs belonging to some of Britain's biggest operators are set to change hands this month.

Deals worth nearly £1bn have been under discussion over the past month, including a merger between Luminar Leisure and Northern Leisure.

The two are believed to have held preliminary talks to create the UK's biggest operator of bars and clubs, valued at more than £450m.

It came as Northern was said to be in exclusive talks to acquire Rank's 34 clubs and bars, worth about £100m, including Jumpin' Jaks and Hotshots.

First Leisure was also believed to be close to a deal to sell its 65 bars and clubs, including Brannigans and Heroes, valued at about £220m.

Allied Leisure also plans to sell the 52 bars and clubs, valued at about £45m, acquired in its merger with European Leisure.

Last month Luminar raised £9m by placing more than one million new shares on the stock market and increased banking facilities to £60m.

It is continuing to roll out the Chicago Rock Cafés as well as Cuban bar brand Rhythm Bar & Grill and club concept Liquid.

Northern revealed last month it was interested in major expansion, staying in the club and late-night bar market.

This summer new management took the reins after a deal which allowed founder Nick Oppenheim to exit the business.

The new merged group would be made up of 140 bars and nightclubs. If Northern is successful in buying the Rank outlets, this would bring the group up to nearly 180.

With Chicago Rock Café, Jumpin' Jaks and other successful concepts, the group would be a major player in the licensed trade on the Stock Exchange.

Both sides refused to comment but it is belived talks are at a very early stage.

The discussions were revealed after City sources said Luminar pulled out of bidding for the First Leisure package of bars and clubs.

First Leisure, which is focusing on its health clubs, was last week believed to be close to a deal with private equity finance group Candover.

Related topics: Other operators

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