Property investment firm CK Asset Holdings has secured a deal to acquire UK pub and beer company Greene King for £2.7 billion.
Greene King, which bought Spirit Pub Company for £774 million in 2015, operates around 2,730 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK and owns beer brands such as Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen.
Hong Kong-listed CK Asset said it believes that pubs “will continue to be an important part of British culture and the eating and drinking out market”. The company already owns a small portfolio of freehold pubs, all of which are leased to Greene King.
The deal marks the second time this year a major British brewer has been bought by an Asian buyer, after Asahi Europe secured a deal to acquire the beer, cider, soft drinks and distribution business of Fuller, Smith & Turner for £250 million.
Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Greene King has a well-invested estate in prime locations, leading brands, a rich history and a talented team of c.38,000 people serving millions of customers across the country every week.
“CKA is an experienced UK investor and shares many of Greene King’s business philosophies. 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.”
Gerald Ma, executive committee member and general manager, corporate business development department of CKA, added: “We have come to know Greene King well as we have been an owner of a portfolio of pubs which have been leased to them since late 2016.
“We share the strategy which Greene King has set out in its recent results announcement, that is to focus efforts on developing the brand, enhancing the service offering, training and retaining talent, executing an active estate management strategy, and all under a prudent financial management policy.”
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