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Greene King buys Spirit Pub for £773m

Brewer and operator Greene King has agreed to fork-out £773.6 million to take over UK pub company Spirit Pub, making it the largest pub group in the UK.

The takeover follows weeks of negotiation on price between the two companies, as well as a surprise initial offer coming in from Ireland’s C&C Group, makers of Bulmers and Magners.

While C&C’s offer valued Spirit Pub at 115 pence-per-share, concerns about the potential lack of compatibility between the two companies is rumoured to have swung the pub chain’s choice to go with Greene King at the same price.

Spirit Pub’s chains, such as Chef & Brewer, Fayre & Square and Flaming Grill, are split into 794 managed pubs and 433 leased pubs – all of which will now be incorporated under Greene King’s portfolio.

Greene King already operates 1,900 outlets, which includes the Loch Fyne and Hungry Horse chains, meaning the addition will make the company the largest of its kind in the UK.

Current Spirit Pub shareholders are being given 28.9% of Greene King as part of the deal.

Greene King is shifting its focus to its own-managed retail business, comprising restaurants, hotels and pubs.

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