Eat gears up for £150m sale
Eat, the sandwich chain with 85 outlets, is preparing for a sale that could raise up to £150m. The group founded by Niall and Faith MacArthur is expected to pick a corporate adviser next month, with KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte all thought to be in the running. Potential buyers include Advent International and Morgan Stanley Private Equity, which both narrowly missed out on the £345m sale of rival chain Pret A Manger to Bridgepoint.
6 April, read the full article in The Independent on Sunday here.
Melton Mowbray pork pies win protected statusread the full article on BBCi here.
Marston's buys Hobgoblin and Brakspear beer makerMarston's, the pub owner and brewer formerly known as Wolverhampton & Dudley, has bought the company behind the Hobgoblin, Brakspear and Duchy Originals Organic Ale beer brands. It is believed to have spent £11m to £15m on Oxfordshire-based Ryland Thompson, which operates under the Refresh name and is the UK's biggest brewer of organic beers. Marston's said it was "cautious" for the year ahead as its business was being affected by the smoking ban, the consumer slowdown and increased beer duty. The group, which anticipates sales growth of 4% for the six months to 29 March, revealed that trade had slowed further in the past eight weeks with declining sales at tenanted pubs and lower brewing volumes, despite an increase in its share of the premium ale market. - 5 April, read the full article in the Daily Telegraph here.
Thai hotel 'poverty tour' sparks outrage and chef boycott The luxury Lebua hotel in Bangkok sparked outrage in the Thai and French media by taking 50 bankers and executives from the USA, Europe and Asia on a four-hour tour of a destitute Thai village before treating them to a free,10-course meal that included champagne, oysters, truffles and neck of Iberico pig. Twenty-three top chefs from France (including Parisian chef Alain Solivérès), Germany and Japan boycotted the £150,000 event yesterday as a tasteless publicity stunt. The hotel argued that the event had generated donations of nearly £25,000 from the wealthy guests to help the 600 residents of Ban Tatit village in the North-East, and that it was creating a foundation with a gift of £48,000 to bring clean water and basic infrastructure to the village. The four European chefs who agreed to cook the meal included Atul Kochhar of Benares (London), Christian Lohse from Fischers Fritz (Berlin) and Henk Savelberg of the Restaurant Hotel Savelberg (the Netherlands), who were paid £4,000 each for the night. - 6 April, read the full article in The Independent on Sunday here.
By Angela Frewin
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