Pubmaster to sell Wolves' four breweries

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Takeover

Pubmaster has revealed that it plans to sell Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries' four breweries if its £453m takeover goes ahead.It said it did...

Pubmaster has revealed that it plans to sell Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries' four breweries if its £453m takeover goes ahead.

It said it did not intend to close the four sites in Wolverhampton, Burton-on-Trent, Mansfield and Hartlepool and had already received "serious approaches".

Pubmaster unveiled its plans for W&DB for the first time in its formal offer document today (June 14) after launching a hostile takeover battle nearly two weeks ago.

The offer of 480p per share values the business at £453m, which is less than the £472m which was previously rejected by W&DB's board.

The document, which was sent to W&DB's shareholders, also confirms that Pubmaster intends to sell 290 of the 1,700 pubs to Noble House Leisure. A price of £250.4m has been agreed for the package of high street pubs, which includes the Pitcher & Piano chain.

Pubmaster intends to convert the rest of the pubs to tenancy, boosting its estate from 2,000 to about 3,500.

W&DB has attacked Pubmaster's offer as an attempt to buy the regional brewer "on the cheap".

But the offer document claims that in April this year, W&DB's management team made a failed bid to buy out the company at 460p a share - valuing it at only £434m.

Pubmaster chairman John Brackenbury said: "While many of the players in the pub and brewing market have been disposing of brewing and tenanted pub assets to large specialist companies with the scale to be competitive, W&DB embarked on a strategy of becoming one of the largest integrated pub owners and brewers in the country.

"It is pursuing this outdated strategy at the expense of W&DB's shareholders."

He said Pubmaster, which is launching its bid through a takeover vehicle called Pubmistress, believed W&DB had "good financial and trading prospects" under its own strategy.

"Pubmistress intends to integrate the W&DB tenanted pub estate and the majority of the managed estate into its own estate, thereby enhancing the strategy to develop a significant pub estate in the UK," Mr Brackenbury said.

"It will look to sell other assets of W&DB, most of which have been acquired by W&DB's existing management team as part of its strategy - a strategy largely responsible for the value destruction of recent years."

The launch of the formal document means that, under takeover rules, a deal must be agreed by August 13.

Related stories:

Wolves goes into battle against Pubmaster (June 4, 2001)

Wolves rejects new Pubmaster bid (June 2, 2001)

Wolves reports profit uplift as it awaits bid (May 23, 2001)

Related topics: Other operators

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more