Marston’s sells 137 pubs to Admiral Taverns for £44.9m

Brewery, pub and hotel operator, Marston’s has sold 137 pubs to Admiral Taverns for £44.9m, through Christie & Co.

This disposal is in line with Marston’s plans to reduce its debt in part through the disposal of certain non-core assets. The portfolio includes a mix of pubs from across Marston’s tenanted and franchised divisions, comprising mainly smaller wet-led pubs.

The pubs being disposed of contributed EBITDA of £4.8m and operating profit of £3.7m for the year to 28 September 2019. The pubs have a book value of £62.6m. The disposal will result in average profit per pub in the retained estate increasing by around 7% and return on capital improving by 0.2% post the transaction.

CEO Ralph Findlay said, “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200 million by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets. We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted.

'This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70 million disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year.

'We remain focused on our stated objective of reducing our net debt by £200 million by 2023 or earlier, and thereafter operating a high quality business generating consistent net cashflow, after dividends, of at least £50 million per annum.”