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Fuller's shareholders approve Gales bid

29 November 2005

London pub operator Fuller's £91.8m bid for Hampshire-based rival George Gale and Company has been accepted today by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting.

Family-owned Gales was founded in 1847 and operates a 111-strong pub estate in the south and South-east of England.

The portfolio includes 69 tenanted and 42 managed pubs of which 97 are freeholds and five are managed on behalf of Premier Pubs Estate.

Fuller's chairman Anthony Fuller said at the company's interim results earlier this month: "The acquisition of Gales will give us benefits of scale that will help us continue to deliver improved value to our shareholders."

However, consumer group Camra has launched a campaign to keep Gales's Horndean brewery in Hampshire open, fearing it will be closed as a cost cutting measure.

Fuller's itself has 242 managed or tenanted pubs and eight hotels across the south-east of the country, of which 203 are freehold premises.

By Chris Druce

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