According to reports by Bloomberg, the operator of close to 1,400 pubs received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from the American firm regarding a possible cash offer for its share capital.
Marston’s has since confirmed the news, releasing a statement revealing that its board will evaluate the proposal with its advisers and a further announcement will be made in due course.
“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the Company, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made,” it added.
With discussions ongoing, Marston’s also called on Platinum to either announce its firm intention to make an offer or decline to do so no later than 5pm on 26 February.
The company is currently valued at £555m, having seen its shares nosedive, then partially recover, since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The operator also revealed that it made a total loss of £397.1m during the year to 3 October 2020 following the closure of its pub estate for 15 weeks.
However, news of Platinum Equity’s interest today (29 January) saw the operator’s shares make a 16%, or 12p, leap to 87p.
Platinum Equity’s interest in taking Marston’s private follows news that former Greene King CEO Rooney Anand is to pump £200m into the UK’s ailing sector with the help of Stateside backers.
What’s more, the news comes just weeks after Marston’s announced that it would operate SA Brain’s portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales on a combination of leased and management contract arrangements, safeguarding 1,300 jobs in December.
What’s more, a £780m Marston’s and Carlsberg joint venture to create the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company completed in August following clearance from the Competition’s and Markets Authority.
The deal saw Marston’s hand over the keys to its beer business and become a ‘focused pub operator’ for the first time in its near 200-year history.
After a comparatively quiet 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports of private equity interest in Marston’s comes after more than 180 mergers and acquisitions were completed in the UK pub sector between the start of 2018 and end of 2019.
This unprecedented level of activity saw a £2.7bn acquisition of Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King by Hong Kong-based CK Bidco wrapped in October 2019, for example.