Greene King has bought London-based Realpubs, which runs 14 pubs, for £53.1m.
The company is owned 50/50 by private equity company Brockton Capital and founders Nick Pring and Malcolm Heap.
Companies House records show that the company was less than 50% geared, which suggests Brockton and the founders' equity pot is at least £26m.
All but one of the Realpubs sites are freehold and the acquisition is being funded by existing bank facility. Realpubs sites will have average weekly turnover of £24.5k in 2011 and forecasted average EBITDA per site of £450k. The implied forward EBITDA acquisition multiple is 8.4x.
Food is currently 33% of sales and growing strongly, with around half of all sales being driven by customers coming to eat in the pubs. Heap and Pring have been retained for a minimum of two years.
Greene King said the pair will become part of the company's "Retail management team helping to spearhead our growth and offer development in London, including the conversion of a significant number of existing Greene King pubs to the Realpubs premium urban local concept, and within the premium segment on a national basis".
Premium pub offer
Rooney Anand, Greene King chief executive, said: "Driven by our clear and consistent strategy of delivering excellent customer value, service and quality, trading at Greene King has been strong and as a result, we remain confident for the outcome for the year.
"We continue to supplement strong underlying organic growth with targeted, value-creating acquisitions to accelerate our strategic aim of growing our Retail business to around 1,100 pubs and building the best Retail estate in the UK.
"We are excited by today's acquisition as it fits well with our strategy, by further strengthening our London presence and accelerating the development of our premium pub offer.
"The addition of Realpubs takes the total number of Greene King sites within the M25 to 217 and positions us strongly ahead of, during and after the Olympics in London in 2012, when London and its pubs and restaurants will be visited by tourists from across the world."
Nick Pring said: "We're genuinely very excited to be working with Greene King."
Sapient Corporate Finance was the advisor to Brockton Capital and Realpubs.
MA comment by The PMA Team:
The Greene King deal to buy Realpubs is a continuation of a mergers and acquisitions trend whereby quoted pub companies are buying smaller managed multiples with good freehold content.
Greene King itself bought Cloverleaf at the start of 2011 and Young's bought Geronimo at the end of 2010.
There' also a clear move among large managed companies to retain specialist management, especially in the London market.
Greene King believes there may be several dozen of their own sites in London that will convert to the Realpubs format.
Likewise, Young's has retained the Geronimo management team, led by Rupert and Jo Clevely to help them move a couple of dozen of its own sites to a more Geronimo-style operation.
Meanwhile, Fuller's has employed Justin Carter to help provide a more contemporary feel at a number of its London sites.