Century Inns adds 65 pubs to portfolio

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The Independent Online
Century Inns, the rapidly expanding pub operator, yesterday announced the purchase of another 65 tenanted pubs from the Pub Partnership Company for pounds 9.1m cash. The deal takes Century's estate of pubs to 422.

Alistair Arkley, chief executive of Century, said: "This is the second purchase this year and further extends our portfolio in the North.

"The pubs are similar to our own estate, although they have lacked investment."

Of the pubs being acquired, 55 are a mixture of freehold and long-leasehold sites.

The pubs were originally acquired by Pub Partnership in 1992 for pounds 13.6m. A valuation carried out in January by Humberts Leisure valued the pubs at pounds 9.4m.

The last published figures showed that the 65 pubs made operating profits of pounds 1.1m for the year to 29 February 1996.

Mr Arkley believes that the acquired pubs will be earnings- enhancing within the first full year of being under Century's umbrella.

"While we expect to incorporate them quickly, in the short term additional resources will be required to achieve the anticipated long-term benefits," he said.

Century's shares firmed 0.5p to 194.5p on the deal.

In addition to the purchase, Century announced that it had struck a new beer supply contract with Carlsberg-Tetley. Century did not go into details about the contract, but did say it would run until 2002.