Pub chain gets one in
Sunday 02 March 1997
The source said that Enterprise had signed an "exclusivity contract", blocking other potential bidders for Discovery, which abandoned plans to float last December due to volatile stock market conditions at the time.
Enterprise would not com-ment yesterday.
Discovery's flotation was aimed at giving an exit for Kleinwort Benson, the company's venture capital backers. The company was founded in 1992 as a vehicle to acquire 223 pubs from Whitbread in England and Wales, and has increased its estate through purchases from Allied Domecq and Marston, Thomson and Evershed.
The decision to pull Discovery's flotation raised some eyebrows in the City because of the insatiable appetite among investors for the new-style independent pub operators that have been created as a result of the forced mass sell-off of 11,000 pubs between 1989 and 1992.
Paul Smith, chairman of Discovery, wants to keep the company independent, but is understood to have received several tempting approaches from other pub groups since the float was pulled. A spokesman for Discovery had no comment.
Discovery made pounds 3m profit before tax in the year to last September, a increase of 50 per cent on its 1994/95 results. One analyst suggested that Discovery could be on course to double last year's result by September 1998.
The company owns The Old Bull at Inkberrow, the model for the fictional Bull in The Archers. In general, its pub estate is positioned half-way between the managed themed chains like Tom Cobleigh and the likes of the tenanted estates run by Enterprise and Century Inns.
Share prices of the independent pub groups have soared in the last couple of years, and some of the companies are trading on fancy ratios of 30 times prospective earnings.
Enterprise Inns, which floated in November 1995, doubled the size of its pub estate last year through the pounds 51.3m purchase of John Labatt (UK), the pubs arm of Interbrew, the private Belgian company that brews Stella Artois. The company now has more than 900 pubs and recently announced a underlying surge in annual taxable profits from pounds 5.66m to pounds 8.5m.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 4 Black teen in critical condition after store employee 'shoots him for stealing 79-cent pack of cookies'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explainer: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...