First Spirit Group managed pub converted to Punch Taverns' lease

05 June 2006
First Spirit Group managed pub converted to Punch Taverns' lease

The Old Cock Inn in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, has become the first managed Spirit pub to be converted to a Punch Taverns' lease.

It means that after 10 years of working behind various bars for other people, Nicola Hackett has become her own boss for the first time as lessee at the 16th century boozer.

The Old Cock Inn is one of 740 pubs identified by Punch to convert from managed operation to lease.

Punch bought Spirit for £2.7b last year, although the deal was not completed until January 2006. Spirit had more than 1,800 pubs on purchase.

Currently, 380 Spirit pubs are on the market to be sold off individually or as a package. Punch intends to keep running Spirit as a managed division for now.

OFT won't refer Punch >>

By Chris Druce

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