Enterprise Inns sells off pubs

Thu, 14 May 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

A major change in the pub industry has prompted big player Enterprise Inns to sell off a large swathe of its pubs.

The company is set to sell off 1,000 pubs, while also increasing the number of outlets that it operates under its own management from the current level of 16 to between 750 and 850. The change in structure could also see a further 1,000 pubs put into a real estate investment trust.

Enterprise Inns was prompted to take action after the government confirmed plans to change the law around tied pubs, meaning that landlords will be entitled to pay market prices for beer instead of being tied into a higher rate with the brewery the pub is owned by.

The change will affect around 60 per cent of Enterprise's pubs. It is the first big pub group that has announced its plans to change its structure in response to the change in law. Comments from the group observed that it is looking to recruit “considerable expertise” to help it make the move to “alternative operating models”.

Simon Townsend, chief executive of Enterprise, said that all the firm's pubs will be reviewed to decide how to proceed with each individual property in terms of a business sale, full management or a continuation of the tenanted model.

He added that “over half” of the company's pubs will remain tenanted.

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