The real estate investment trust NewRiver Retail Ltd has acquired 158 community pubs from Marston’s Taverns estate and 44 leased pubs. Marston’s will manage the pubs for five years in return for a management fee.
Marston’s has provided a minimum income guarantee for four years.
The deal was said to be consistent with Marston’s strategy to boost growth through investment in higher turnover pub-restaurants, improve the quality of its estate and cut exposure to smaller pubs.
Marston’s ceo, Ralph Findlay, said: “This disposal will enable us to reduce the cost of servicing our securitised debt, is consistent with our strategy and improves the quality of our estate. It will also assist with financing the accelerating rollout of our new-build pub-restaurants which are achieving good returns.” Money generated by the sale will save £6.7M in interest payments each year.
Save £6.7M of interest
The pubs involved in the deal were valued at £119.5M of which £37.4M is represented by previous revaluation surpluses.
Marston’s announced the sale along wth its full-year results to October 5. Pre-tax profits reached £69.8M, compared with a £135.5M loss last year. Group revenue was up by 9% to £782.9M.
The group’s estate includes about 2,050 pubs nationwide, comprising managed, franchised and leased pubs.
The brewer, which employs about 13,000 people, produces premium cask and bottled ales – including Marston’s Pedigree and Hobgoblin. Its beers include: Banks’s, Jennings, Wychwood, Ringwood, Brakspear and Mansfield beers.