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Luminar pays pounds 34m for clubs

LUMINAR, THE leisure company that owns the Chicago Rock Cafe chain, yesterday said it would buy 27 bars and nightclubs, including the Hippodrome in London's Leicester Square, from Allied Leisure for pounds 34.5m in cash.

The deal is the latest in a round of nightclub sales which have made the sector the centre of investor attention in recent weeks.

Northern Leisure paid pounds 150m for 37 Rank clubs and First Leisure is expected to sell its clubs for pounds 220m to a management buyout team.

To finance its purchase, Luminar will sell 4.4 million new shares at 850p each.

The company yesterday reported pre-tax profits for the six months to 29 August up pounds 1.2m at pounds 4.3m. Turnover rose by pounds 7.2m on the same period a year ago to pounds 29.5m. Luminar shares closed up 65p at 960p, while shares in Allied rose 1p to end at 30.5p.