Tom Cobleigh buys 51 Whitbread outlets

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The Independent Online
WHITBREAD has begun to unload the final 1,000 pubs it was obliged to free-of-tie to meet last November's deadline for complying with the Government's controversial Beer Orders.

The pubs were leased to individuals and small companies, with Whitbread retaining the right to sell them when it wanted to.

A parcel of 51 outlets has been sold to Tom Cobleigh, a fledgling pub company based in Sutton-in- Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

Tom Cobleigh was formed two years ago by Derek Mapp, managing director and former director at Mansfield Brewery.

The company's first pub was acquired in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and was followed by acquisitions in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside.

The pubs being bought from Whitbread are in Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfeld and Worksop.

Neither Tom Cobleigh nor Whtbread would dislcose the value of the deal. It is understood, however, that the pubs were sold at book value.

Bill Shannon, managing director of Whitbread Pub Partnerships, said: 'Through this deal we are delivering the innovative strategy we introduced as a result of the Beer Orders being enforced.

'We put together a package to offset selling pubs in a depressed market.

'This was achieved by making about 1,000 pubs available for short term lease on the understanding that they would be sold.'

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