Greenalls to bid pounds 500m for Boddington

JOHN WILLCOCK

and JOHN SHEPHERD

Greenalls Group is poised to buy rival pub business Boddington for around pounds 500m as consolidation in the overcrowded pubs market gathers pace.

Earlier in the day Boddington admitted it had received an approach which might lead to a recommended offer. Industry sources said that Greenalls, the acquisitive group headed by Peter Greenall, will offer Boddington's shareholders one share worth 450p for every two they own, or a mixture of shares and cash. Yesterday morning the market sensed a bid was in the air, with many speculating it would be the brewer Whitbread, whose shares ended 7p down at 629p.

Boddington's shares soared 86p to 358p, well above the year's high of 295p. Some analysts said Greenalls would have to offer the equivalent of at least 400p a share to secure agreement from Boddington.

The Manchester company owns 450 pubs and sold the Boddington's beer brand - "the cream of Manchester" - to Whitbread seven years ago. The company has also developed a series of leisure villages, owns the drinks wholesalers chain Liquid Assets, and runs several nursing homes.

Boddington was forced into making a formal announcement as its share price soared amid heavy dealings for what is a tightly-held stock. It said any bid would be substantially above the markert price.

Dealers reported heavy interest in the stock from investors in Boddington's home area in the North West, where the highly acquisitive Greenalls Group is also based.

"There has been some pretty inspirational buying of Boddington's shares the past few days," one senior dealer said yesterday. "The thinking is that the buying may be more than just inspirational," he added. More than 3 million Boddington shares were traded on Tuesday, compared with just 34,953 on Monday and a 200-day average volume of 300,901. Another 2.7 million were traded yesterday.

The Greenall family sold out of Greenalls several years ago, but Peter Greenall stays at the helm. Like Boddington it has spearheaded the development of family pubs, with the "Jungle Bungles" chain. It also owns Cellar 5 off-licences, drinks wholesalers and De Vere hotels

The City still expects thousands of pubs to close, and further mergers are expected. Regent Inns recently bid for Newt & Cucumber pubs but was trumped by Morland, the Abingdon brewer. There was speculation yesterday about a number of possible deals: Vaux, the brewer and Swallow Hotels owner based in Sunderland, may be targeted by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries. Analysts also expect that if Whitbread cannot buy Allied Domecq out of Carlsberg-Tetley then it might go for Greene King's brewing arm instead.

Carlsberg-Tetley is to close its Warrington brewery by October 1996 with the loss of 240 jobs; 150 will go at Burton on Trent and another 110 will go in sales and administration.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power