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Punch buys InnSpired for £335m

10 September 2004
Punch buys InnSpired for £335m

Punch Taverns has bought 1,000-strong rival InnSpired for about £335m.

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Thorley: strengthening presence
Giles Thorley, chief executive of Punch, said: "This estate further enhances the group's geographic coverage and strengthens its presence in the South and South-west in particular." Prior to the acquisition, Punch had 7,334 pubs nationwide. InnSpired's 1,064 leased and tenanted pubs are located throughout England and Wales, with more than half of them in the South. Most of them are "community" locals. InnSpired generated earnings before interest, tax and depreciation of £32.4m in the year to 31 October 2003. The £335m paid by Punch includes it taking on £258m of debt. Punch said: "The acquisition represents an attractive opportunity for the group as the InnSpired estate contains a good proportion of high-quality outlets which will complement Punch's existing estate and provide significant development opportunities." Cost savings of more than £3m a year are expected once the two companies are brought together. In order to head off any concerns about monopolies in certain areas of the country, Punch has agreed to sell on 88 pubs to Admiral Taverns for £22.6m. Of the pubs being sold, 51 are from the InnSpired estate and 37 from the existing Punch estate. Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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