Enterprise Inns wins FTSE 100 spot

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The Independent Online

Enterprise Inns, the pubs group floated with a valuation of £50m in 1995, will today cap its achievement in becoming the UK's biggest landlord with promotion to the FTSE 100.

Enterprise Inns, the pubs group floated with a valuation of £50m in 1995, will today cap its achievement in becoming the UK's biggest landlord with promotion to the FTSE 100.

The quarterly reshuffle of the elite index is announced today on the basis of market values last night. Enterprise, which has grown through a string of acquisitions to be worth £2.2bn, will replace Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust when the changes take effect at the end of next week.

Enterprise is in the process of exercising an option to purchase the Unique Pub Company for an estimated £2bn, which will swell its pubs estate by 4,200 venues to more than 9,000. Although the deal will be mainly debt financed, it is issuing £50m of new shares, which will start trading today.

Ted Tuppen, who founded Enterprise in 1991, said: "I am delighted for our shareholders, and getting in the Footsie is an important milestone, but it's not a destination."

Enterprise was formed to buy 386 pubs from Bass as the brewers were forced, by regulatory changes, to divest thousands of pubs.

"We saw it as a chance to buy assets cheaply, but the process has gone further than anyone envisaged at the time. The brewers ended up selling all of them,"Mr Tuppen said.

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