Greene King completes £774m Spirit Pub Company acquisition

Greene King completes £774m Spirit Pub Company acquisition

Greene King has completed the long awaited £774m acquisition of Spirit Pub Company, following months of negotiations.

The business deal was first mooted in the press in September 2014, when Greene King confirmed that it was planning to make a bid for its rival.

The acquisition, one of the sector's most high profile deals, hit a stumbling block last month when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled that it would "substantially" affect competition in the pub sector.

The CMA stated on 11 May that there would be competition issues in 16 local markets, but conceded that it would not need to take its investigation into the potential acquisition to the next stage should the parties offer "acceptable undertakings" over those markets before the deadline of 18 May.

Analysts had previously predicted that the groups would need to sell just 100 pubs to satisfy competition demands.

Greene King said the deal will enable it to further realise its ambition to be an industry leader and grow its share of the UK eating and drinking out markets. The company has completed around 20 acquisitions since 1999 with a total value of more than £2b.

Rooney Anand, chief executive officer of Greene King, commented: "Our focus now turns to building a combined business of our best brands, people, locations, and processes to ensure we succeed in the eating and drinking out markets for the long term.

"As we begin this exciting new phase in our history, Greene King will continue to focus on creating a great place to work for our people, delivering industry-leading value, service and quality to our customers and maximising value for our shareholders."

Spirit chief executive officer Mike Tye added: "The combined business will be the largest managed pub company in the UK and a real force to be reckoned with, especially by taking the best of both businesses and creating a clear industry leader."

Spirit Pub Company has 770 managed pubs, including the Chef & Brewer, Taylor Walker and Fayre & Square brands, while Greene King has 1,000 managed pubs and around 900 tenanted and leased pubs.

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