Derek Pain: Cheers to a quick-fire profit with the Capital Pub Company

No Pain, No Gain

It is always a pleasure to book a profit, particularly a handsome, quick-fire one. In six months the no pain, no gain portfolio has almost doubled its money on its investment in the Capital Pub Company. Although the cash has still to arrive, bidder Greene King has stormed in to grab control, even before posting its offer, which means the rewards are as good as in the bag. In effect it is a done deal.

Some shareholders have sold in the stock market, reasoning, no doubt, that they may as well get their hands on the money as quickly as possible rather than wait for the protracted takeover process to be completed. They have sacrificed a few coppers per share. The portfolio intends to sit tight until it gets Greene King's cheque. Indeed, it is in no rush to unload.

Such a laid-back approach reflects the simple fact that I do not have a replacement immediately to hand. A number of shares are on my shortlist but I have yet to make a final decision. Compounding my lack of urgency is that I am a rather superstitious old feller and I don't like to tempt fate by reducing the number of constituents to "unlucky 13". I realise in this high-tech age such an attitude is rather stupid but I cannot avoid the thought that us investors have enough uncertainties to contend with and it is best to take every precaution possible.

The portfolio arrived at Capital early this year, paying 120p a share. The Greene King offer is 235p, capitalising the company, started 11 years ago as a business expansion scheme venture, at £70m. My decision to descend on Capital, which has 35 outlets, stemmed not from takeover hopes, although it was obvious such a possibility existed, but from indications it was a well-run company exploiting, as a niche player, the London pubs scene. Although the pub industry is suffering acute embarrassment on a national level, more upmarket establishments in and around London are enjoying excellent trade.

Not surprising then that Fuller, Smith & Turner, London's last remaining old-style brewer, saw the attractions of Capital's chain. But Fuller was outgunned by Greene King which had earlier splashed out £53.3m for the 14-strong outlets of an unquoted concern called Realpubs.

Whether Greene King's 235p shot is a full price is debatable. Capital possibly represents the last quality chance for any bidder to increase its London presence. Fuller's 200p indicative offer never stood a chance but there was stock market talk that at least 250p, possibly more, would have been more appropriate. Still Capital's board accepted Greene King's overtures and, perhaps rather sadly, an interesting little venture is being swallowed and will disappear.

I had wondered whether Marston's, Greene King's rival, would chase the Capital prize. But that portfolio member is quite heavily borrowed and has an extensive programme of building new pubs to occupy its attention. In the past few weeks a number of stockbrokers have chorused their praise for the Brakspear and Pedigree brewing and pubs group. One of them, Credit Suisse, has given the shares an "outperform" rating with a 131p target price. Numis is also keen and advocates a 130p target.

Another constituent making corporate news is Patsystems, providing such esoteric facilities as computerised derivative trading platforms. It is acquiring a US group with equities and options trading software, called Mixit, for cash and shares. Cost is a maximum of £17.6m with a £12.6m down payment. An Irish group, ION Trading, will, no doubt, scrutinise this takeover. It has a stake of more than 29 per cent, which will be diluted by the deal. Still this transatlantic expansion looks a shrewd excursion, which will increase the group's range and provide opportunities for cross selling.

Another constituent, Hargreaves Services, the coal to transport group, has at last won local authority approval for its Tower coal development in Wales. Permission is subject to certain, as yet unexplained, conditions. However, Hargreaves says once the final hurdles are cleared it will not take too long to get the project up and running. Negotiations have certainly been protracted but Hargreaves believes its Welsh development will provide some seven millions tonnes of coal over six years.

yourmoney@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Project Manager - Pensions

    £32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

    KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

    £200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

    Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

    £400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

    SAS Developer - DI Studio - Banking

    £450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Developer, Chester, Banking, DI Studio, £450-...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone