Greenalls puts pounds 400m price tag on pub chain

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The Independent Online
GREENALLS, the Lancashire-based pubs and hotels group, is open to offers of around pounds 400m for Inn Partnerships, its chain of franchised and tenanted pubs based mainly in North-west England. But it will not under-price the pubs because of the current market conditions, a spokesman indicated.

The venture capital group, Charterhouse Development Capital, with an pounds 800m fund, is the market favourite to bid. Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns are also potential bidders.

CDC indicated that it would not make an offer unless it had full confidence in the existing management or a management team ready to brought in.

Inn Partnerships consists of 955 franchised pubs and 402 tenancies. Industry sources regard it as a relatively high-quality estate, unlike the parcels of surplus low-turnover pubs that most big brewers have been selling to meet the requirements of the Monopolies Commission ruling in 1989.

In today's market it may be necessary for Greenalls to sell the franchised and tenanted pubs separately, industry sources said yesterday.

The division made an operating profit of pounds 38.9m of the group's total of pounds 208m in the year to September 1997. The decision to sell it was signalled at the interim figures last month, when the company put the emphasis for future development on its managed pubs, health and leisure facilities and hotels.

Greenalls shares rose 6.5p to 205p yesterday.

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