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Laurel rescued from administration

27 March 2008 by

Laurel Pub Group has been split into two new businesses after being placed in administration this afternoon.

Bay Restaurant Group and Town & City Pub Company have purchased 293 units from Laurel, comprising of 132 restaurants and 162 pubs and bars.

Bay Restaurants will comprise of 84 Slug & Lettuce, 24 Ha Ha bar & grill sites and 24 pipeline sites. It will also merge with the 85 La Tasca restaurants under Laurel's control.

This new restaurant company will be, according to Bay Restaurants, the fourth largest casual dining operator in the UK.

Town & City Pubs will comprise 161 pubs and bars comprising mainly of Yates's, together with an unbranded portfolio of managed pubs and bars.

Former Laurel chairman Ian Payne will be chairman of both companies. Paul Symonds, chief executive at Laurel, will be chief executive of Bay and Toby Smith, once of Spirit and part of Laurel's pubs and bars business will be promoted to chief executive of Town & City.

Payne said: "We are confident that both the restaurant and pubs and bars portfolios acquired today are high quality and robust. With the refinancing of both Bay Restaurant Group and Town & City Pub Company now complete, both businesses have a solid platform from which to expand, grow and maximise their future potential."

A spokeswoman for the new businesses said that both would see a combined capital injection of £50m to £60m.

The 94 sites Laurel put up for sale last month will be handled by administrators Kroll.

Laurel puts 94 pubs up for sale >>

Laurel Pub Company >>

Laurel Pub Company to close 22 pubs >>

More high profile pub failures predicted >>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

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