Nomura hops into top slot with Inntrepreneur buy

Nomura, the Japanese bank, yesterday became the largest indepenent pub operator in the UK with the pounds 1.2bn acquisition of Inntrepreneur and Spring Inns companies.

Grand Metropolitan and Australian Brewer, Foster's, have sold their 50 per cent stakes in Inntrepreneur, which has 2,900 pubs, to Nomura for pounds 950m. Nomura has also bought Spring Inns, the 1,410-strong pub chain which was split off from Inntrepreneur last year, for around pounds 225m.

Nomura, a securities house, plans to invest heavily in Inntrepreneur and will speed up the pub group's plans to create a managed pub estate.

Mike Foster, chief executive of Inntrepreneur, said: "Nomura obviously has deeper pockets. We can step up our plans to create a managed pub chain of a few hundred pubs." However Nomura is not likely to hold the group for the long term. It is likely to dispose of the group through a trade sale or flotation on the stock market after a few years.

The restructuring of Inntrepreneur could also lead to some management job losses but it is understood a large-scale redundancy programme is not on the cards at the moment.

However, Nomura has taken on a potential huge compensation claim from the pub groups' tenants who are looking to claim damages for allegedly being unfairly tied to beer supply agreements.

Under the deal all future litigation risks have been transferred from GrandMet and Foster's to Nomura.

The litigation worries intensified this summer when more than 800 pub tenants, or more than a third of Inntrepreneur's tenanted estate, failed to sign up to Retail Link, a new lease that commits them to buying beer from the group. Most of the tenants are thought to be determined to take legal action against Inntrepreneur over their existing leases which analysts believe could cost the group up to pounds 350m in damages.

More than 400 tenants of Spring Inns have also failed to sign up and could threaten further legal action.

One Inntrepreneur publican said yesterday: "We are determined to carry on fighting Inntrepreneur and await a decision by the European Commission on the legality of the beer agreements."

Mr Foster now believes Inntrepreneur will be able to secure a better deal from Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, when its beer supply agreement comes up for renewal next March and is planning to introduce several new beer suppliers.

GrandMet's sale of its 50 per cent stake in Inntrepreneur clears another obstacle in the way of its proposed pounds 23bn merger with Guinness. However the group said the sale, which will raise pounds 195m, would lead to a pounds 54m charge this year.

GrandMet also warned that the impact of the strong pound would cost it another pounds 22m in the second half on top of a pounds 9m currency hit in the first six months. But it denied the recent turmoil in Far Eastern currency markets would have a significant effect on profits.

GrandMet said the decision to exit its Burger King operations in France would cost another pounds 20m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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