Scottish and Newcastle has won a contract to manage 364 pubs it sold to the Spirit Group in 2003 which have now been bought by Iranian property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.
Spirit announced in October that it had earmarked about 350 non-core pubs for sale following a review of its estate. This had swollen to 2,400 pubs following its acquisition of 1,400 managed pubs from Scottish and Newcastle Retail.
Tchenguiz has bought the 364 pubs from Spirit for approximately £345m through a newly-created company, New Pubco Holdings.
It has entered long-term agreements with Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises to manage the pubs, which will be operated as tenancies, and with Scottish Courage to supply beer to the estate.
The deal will bring the number of leased pubs run by Scottish and Newcastle Pub Enterprises to about 1,500.
The acquisition comes just weeks after Rotch Property Group, the company owned by Tchenguiz, was named as the preferred bidder for the Laurel Pub Company.
Rotch has made a £151m offer for Laurel's 180 high street pubs and bars.
Rotch, a major investor in the tenanted Pubmaster company that was acquired last year by Punch Taverns, is also believed to be considering a bid for Regent Inns, owner of the Walkabout and Jongleurs chains.
The sale of the pubs by Spirit is seen as a tidying-up exercise in advance of a possible flotation next year.
by Angela Frewin
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