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S&N in search for pub lessees

11 January 2005 by
S&N in search for pub lessees

Scottish and Newcastle Pub Enterprises (S&NPE) faces a tight deadline for finding lessees for the 364 pubs sold by Spirit in December.

The pubs were bought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz for about £345m, with S&NPE taking on the contract to run the properties under lease agreements.

The deadline for lessee applications is 28 February and S&NPE has to have them in place by 8 April, when the pubs will cease to be managed by former owner Spirit.

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Gray: "challenges"
"There are some real challenges in 2005 and the main one is to get the right people in to run the businesses," said S&NPE commercial director Martin Gray. But while he admitted that many of the pubs had been "starved of investment", Gray said he was confident the company would meet its deadlines for the pubs, which have an average net turnover of £330,000 a year and will be available at a nil premium on 20-year, full repairing leases. The deal was particularly attractive to S&N as it also gained the right to supply the 130,000 barrels of beer used by the 364 pubs each year. It is now looking to sign similar deals. Gray also outlined plans to increase the number of pubs covered in its Waterside Pub Partnership deal with British Waterways from 60 to 200 over the next five years through brownfield and greenfield developments. by Karl Cushing Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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