Water souchet

Serves 4-6

Rugby union: Storey takes civil action over alleged attack

THE WELSH Rugby Union's less than impeccable sense of timing was in evidence once again last night when their new initiative in the fight against gratuitous violence was overshadowed by the decision of James Storey, the Neath threequarter and son of the BBC athletics commentator, Stuart Storey, to launch a civil action following an alleged punching incident in the Welsh-Scottish League match with Bridgend at the Brewery Field on 24 October. Storey's representatives yesterday accused John Funnell, the Bridgend centre, of fracturing their client's cheekbone and further claimed that the victim may be "scarred for life".

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Byers imposes conditions on Allied pub sale

STEPHEN BYERS, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, yesterday effectively approved the buyout by Punch Taverns and Bass of Allied Domecq's 3,500-strong pub estate.

Outlook: Whitbread/Swallow

WHITBREAD'S CHIEF executive, David Thomas, says he was drinking champagne on Sunday night to toast his "amicable" takeover of Swallow Group, and who can blame him? Unlike Whitbread's humiliating failure to acquire 3,500 pubs from Allied Domecq last summer, this time there is, apparently, no evil Mr Punch waiting in the wings to spoil the party.

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Hogg grilled by Allied Domecq investors

THE BOARD of Allied Domecq, the UK drinks group, faced a barrage of questions from shareholders yesterday before winning approval for the pounds 2.75bn sale of Allied's UK pubs division to privately owned Punch Taverns.

Outlook: One Allied calls time ...another gets rolled over

PHILIP THE Bushman Bowman has not wasted any time in getting to grips with Allied Domecq. The company's new Aussie chief executive has decided that 25,000 sq ft of Grade II listed property in W1 is an expensive luxury that he can afford to do without now that Allied is no longer part of the beerage.

Me And My Partner: ROGER MYERS AND HUGH OSMOND

Roger Myers, 51, left accountancy to open a cocktail bar, Peppermint Park, in 1978. He co-founded Cafe Rouge and Dome, and established Punch Taverns with entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, 37, who built Pizza Express. They run 1,500 pubs and are buying Allied Domecq's 3,500 pubs for pounds 2.75bn

Bass to spend pounds 240m on new estate

BASS, THE brewing and pubs group, plans to spend pounds 240m on redeveloping the pubs it will acquire from Punch Taverns as part of the pounds 2.75bn deal with Allied Domecq. The investment will be in addition to the pounds 950m Bass is paying for 550-650 of the Allied pubs if the Punch deal goes through.

Greenalls shares jump on bid hopes

SHARES IN Greenalls, the ailing pubs and hotels group, jumped yesterday on speculation that the firm could be a prime takeover target for Whitbread, the company that lost out to Punch in the bid for Allied Domecq's pub estate. Greenalls' shares yesterday closed at 347.5p, up 5.5 per cent.
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