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

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
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

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?