Ei remains quiet on sale details

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sale: Ei Group has stayed quiet on the details of its recent £348m property sale
Sale: Ei Group has stayed quiet on the details of its recent £348m property sale

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One of the UK's largest pub operators Ei Group has remained quiet on the details of its recent £348m property sale, but "will communicate with publicans" soon.

Some 370 sites out of the pub chain’s 412 commercial properties are to be sold to a US hedge fund​.

Concerns about the sale were expressed last week by the Campaign for Real Ale’s national director responsible for pub campaigning, Ben Wilkinson.

He said: “It is essential these pubs are given the chance to thrive under a fair, long-term business model - not viewed simply as property assets to be converted for a quick buck.

"Too many times in the past we've seen large pub company disposals result in the closure of viable pubs, robbing communities of their locals and licensees of their livelihoods.

“The buyer of these properties has a responsibility to its tenants and customers to set out its intentions at the earliest opportunity."

'At the appropriate time'

Ei, however, declined to provide more information on the deal, or to clarify which pubs were being sold.

A spokesperson said: "The sale of the commercial properties portfolio is subject to shareholder approval as part of an ongoing process.

“At the appropriate time, and pending shareholder approval, we will communicate directly with publicans in these properties."

Properties acquired by the newly-incorporated Tavern Propco include free-of-tie pubs and former pub sites that have been converted for alternative use.

The group said the disposal means it can drive growth in its core Publican Partnerships, Managed Operations and Managed Investments divisions and reduce its debt.

Tavern Propco is owned by Davidson Kempner Capital Management and has more than $31bn (£28.3bn) in assets under management. It has paid a deposit of £33.66m for the portfolio.

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