As reported by The Morning Advertiser on 18 July, Stonegate Pub Company agreed to buy Ei Group in a deal that will see the operator’s estate rise by 4,000 sites, making Stonegate the UK’s largest pub owner.
A total of 96.57% of Ei shareholders today (12 September) voted in favour of the acquisition, which will see Stonegate buying Ei for 285p per share.
The acquisition values Ei Group’s entire business at £2.97bn – around 11.4 times Ei Group’s underlying earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £261m for the financial year ended 30 September 2018, including its debt and adjusted for the recent disposal of 370 commercial properties.
Stonegate and Ei Group deal
The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 with the new-look business to be fronted by Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom.
Speaking to The Morning Advertiser (MA), Longbottom explained that Stonegate is prepared to pump money into all aspects of Ei Group’s estate upon the completion of the planned purchase.
Longbottom’s counterpart at Ei Simon Townsend and the company’s board will step down as part of the deal.
Townsend told MA that Ei Group and Stonegate had only been discussing an acquisition deal since May, before deciding on a “generous” £1.27bn price.