Greene King to be bought by Hong Kong firm for £2.7bn

Greene King, the Suffolk-based owner of about 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country, is to be acquired by CKA of Hong Kong, in a deal worth £2.7bn.

CKA is a real estate group, owned by Hong Kong's wealthiest families, and Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said the company shared 'many of Greene King's business philosophies'.

He added, 'They understand the strengths of our business and we welcome their commitment to working with the existing management team, evolving the strategy and investing in the business to ensure its continued long-term growth.'

Greene King's directors said the terms of the deal were 'fair and reasonable' and that they would unanimously recommend it to shareholders who will get the final vote on the tie-up.

CKA, which is chaired by Victor Li, the son of Hong Kong’s richest man, has agreed the acquisition through newly formed subsidiary CK Bidco, which is based in the Cayman Islands.

CKA said it was particularly attracted to Greene King because of its “established position in the UK pub and brewing market, freehold and long leasehold property estate, and resilient financial profile”.

George Magnus, economist and non-executive chairman designate of CK Bidco, said, “The UK pub and brewing sector shares these characteristics and we believe that this sector will continue to be an important part of British culture and the eating and drinking-out market in the long run.

“Greene King, being a leading integrated pub retailer and brewer with strong real estate backing, is well positioned to capture the opportunities that lie ahead.”