Jamie Oliver to teach nation to cook – more hospitality stories in What the weekend papers say

31 March 2008 by
Jamie Oliver to teach nation to cook – more hospitality stories in What the weekend papers say

Jamie Oliver campaign to get the nation cooking
The Guardian, 29 March

Abu Dhabi royal family buy two London Thistles
CPC Group, the company founded by property entrepreneur Christian Candy, has sold two former Thistle hotels in Kensington to the Abu Dhabi royal family for £320m. CPC paid £69m for the two hotels in 2006 and less than a year ago secured planning permission to redevelop them into 97 flats after strong resistance from local residents. - The Daily Telegraph, 29 March

Restaurant Sat Bains is Observer's best restaurant
Restaurant Sat Bains was voted best restaurant in the Observer Food Monthly's annual awards, while the Cornish branch of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen training restaurant won the best location award.The accolade for finest breakfast went to Ottolenghi, a collection of four London venues, while best cheap place to eat was Wahaca, Thomasina Miers' Mexican market eatery in Covent Garden. Other winners included the West Cork Natural Cheese Company, which makes two Swiss-style cheeses using unpasteurised summer milk from local herds that graze wild grasses and heather. - The Observer, 30 March

Enterprise Inns in talks to save £70m by becoming a Reit
Pub group Enterprise Inns is in advanced talks with the Government about becoming the first non-property company to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT). The group - which has dropped plans outlined last May to raise £750m in extra debt - said it had submitted a first stage application to HM Revenue & Customs to adopt the tax-exempt status. Becoming a REIT would slash its tax rate from 30% to 6% and save the company around £70m a year. Converting to a REIT would also boost its dividend by up to 50%. It would mean separating the company into an operating and a property company, held within the same group structure. - The Daily Telegraph, 29 March

New Pontins boss plans property-based sales
Graham Parr, the former Bluecoat who has bought the seven-strong Pontins chain of holiday camps for £46m, plans to expand their clientele through property deals. "I'm going to change the capital structure of how we sell holidays," he says. "If you take Prestatyn, you've got 800 apartments there. I'm going to offer them for sale to the public just as caravan parks sell caravans. We will let it over the year and the owner will get a return of 8 to 10 per cent." The Pontins camps attract 750,000 visitors a year and have an annual turnover of £60m. Parr, whose first job was at Pontins, bought the group from Bass for £57.5m in 1989 and sold it for £115m two years later to Scottish & Newcastle. - The Sunday Telegraph, 30 March

Adnams to double profits in next five years
Regional brewer Adnams intends to more than double its profits in the next five years. The group outlined its plans as it unveiled a doubling of pre-tax profits in 2007 to £7.5m on the back of property disposals. Chief executive Jonathan Adnams said future growth would be driven by the expansion of its Adnams' Cellar & Kitchen stores from eight to 30 stores by 2010. - The Daily Telegraph, 29 March

Blackstone and CVC plan slice of M&B
Blackstone and CVC are considering plans to jointly acquire a significant minority stake in pub operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) and demand changes at board level. M&B, which launched a strategic review in January, is understood to have received one deal proposal by last Friday's deadline and expects one or two more this week. Permirais also reported to be interested in buying a minority stake. - The Sunday Times, 30 March

By Angela Frewin

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