Ei considers sale of commercial property business

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Prospect of sale: pubco Ei Group has confirmed it is considering selling some or all of its commercial property arm
Prospect of sale: pubco Ei Group has confirmed it is considering selling some or all of its commercial property arm

Related tags: Ei Group

Pub giant Ei Group has confirmed it may sell the commercial property arm of the company, in a trading update.

Financial advisory group Rothschild & Co has been appointed by the company to assist with exploring "various possible routes to optimise value".

This could mean the company sells some or all of its commercial property portfolio, which currently comprises 376 properties​.

The confirmation follows speculation earlier in the summer, with The Times​ reporting the group had hired financial advisers to sell the division for a potential £300m.

Properties managed by the pubco’s property branch include free-of-tie pubs ​ and former pub sites that have been converted for alternative use.

“As previously stated, we are open to the opportunity to monetise the value of our commercial property portfolio,” the report added.

In a trading update, the company said it had achieved a previous guidance of 375 commercial properties by the end of the financial year, with 376 commercial sites trading on free-of-tie agreements.

Sales growth

Warm weather and football fever contributed to a boost for second-half trading, with a like-for-like sales growth of 6.6% for the 47 weeks to 25 August.

A £150m unsecured bond offering was also announced by the pubco.

Simon Townsend, chief executive officer of the company said: "Trading performance has steadily improved throughout the year across all areas of our business.

“Our largely wet-led estate has benefited from the good summer weather and the successful FIFA World Cup underpinned by our continuing investment programme as we further evolve ​ the profile of our portfolio to optimise returns.

“We continue to manage our balance sheet obligations proactively to ensure that we are able to drive long-term growth in shareholder value."     

Related topics: Ei Group

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