Mitchells & Butlers](http://www.caterersearch.com/A-Z/CompaniesLanding/224/728/Page1.htm) has sold 333 pubs for £373m to Stonegate Pub Company.
M&B said the move was in line with its plan to dispose of ‘non-core' properties in the lower-price, drinks-led market and late-night high street bars.
The pubs had attributable earnings before interest before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and operating profit in the 52 weeks ended 10 April 2010 of £52m and £35m respectively. That means the deal represents an EBITDA multiple of 7.2x on the gross proceeds.
Following the disposal, M&B said it would have 1,580 restaurants and food-led pubs. Those businesses have delivered it a 1% growth in like for like sales each year since 2007.
The deal is set to be completed by mid November this year and is conditional on the approval of shareholders.
Commenting on the deal, M&B chairman John Lovering said: "I am delighted with the progress being made on reshaping Mitchells & Butlers' portfolio in line with the strategy we announced in March. Adam Fowle and the new management team are making excellent progress in accelerating the pace of change throughout the organisation. The cash resources released by the sale programme will allow the Company to accelerate its growth into the informal eating out market."
Adam Fowle, chief executive, said: "We are pleased that we have been able to announce the exit from our price sensitive drinks-led pubs and our late night venues in a single transaction. This disposal, when combined with the sale of our lodge and bowling businesses, completes the first stage of our strategy. This will now enable us to reinvest in the informal eating out market where our market leading brands, corporate scale and operational capability will deliver attractive growth and investment returns for our shareholders."
By Neil Gerrard
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