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Spirit agrees £500m sale-and-leaseback

18 March 2004 by
Spirit agrees £500m sale-and-leaseback

Pub group Spirit has agreed to sell and lease back 220 of its pubs to property investment firm Prestbury, in a deal that will net it £500m.

The agreement, which will see Spirit lease back the pubs for 30 years, is due to be completed in the next three weeks.

The pubs are part of the Scottish & Newcastle Retail estate that Spirit bought for £2.5b last October.

Karen Jones, Spirit chief executive said: "This transaction allows us to retain operational control of these great pubs whilst using the cash to reduce debt.

"We have successfully completed the operational integration of our business and our whole team is now focused on continued growth to consolidate our position as the UK's number one managed pub retailer."

Prestbury is a joint venture between financiers West Coast Capital and Prestbury Investment Holdings, backed by Bank of Scotland.

by Nic Paton

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