Marston’s 'unanimously' rejects Platinum share offer

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Put forward: the bid was the latest of three offers proposed by Platinum Equity Advisors
Put forward: the bid was the latest of three offers proposed by Platinum Equity Advisors

Related tags Marston's pub company Finance Pubco + head office Private equity

Pubco Marston’s has refused a proposed takeover offer from America-based firm Platinum Equity Advisors.

The proposal of 105p per share was considered by the board at Marston’s before it was unanimously rejected on the grounds it significantly undervalued the firm.

The latest offer followed two previously rebuffed bids of 88p and 95 a share at the end of last year (December 2020), which were received before Marston’s took on 156 SA Brains pubs​.

It also represented a discount of almost a fifth (19%) to the Marston’s share price at the beginning of last year, before the coronavirus pandemic and the company has since completed the joint venture with Carlsberg to create the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.

Initial approach

The Wolverhampton-based pub company confirmed reports last week​ (Friday 29 January) that Platinum had made an initial approach to take Marston’s private.

It released a statement revealing its board would 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.

Platinum is required to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for the company or it does not intend to make an offer, no later than 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021 – 28 days after the announcement last week. This deadline can be extended if the Takeover Panel consents.

Business update

Meanwhile, Marston’s boss Ralph Findlay described an extended business rates holiday and VAT cut across 2021 as a “minimum requirement”​ as the business announced its latest trading update.

This came after the operator of close to 1,400 pubs – all of which are currently closed – revealed total pub revenue during its first quarter were £54m off the back of Covid-19 related disruption. 

The pub company also detailed its “significant liquidity” following the completion of its joint venture with Carlsberg UK in October, stating that bank drawings net of cash at 2 January totalled £104m from a £280m facility which extends to 2024 – providing headroom of £176m.

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