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3 July, 2007 - 01:00 By Staff Reporter

Greene King puts 872 pubs into joint property venture

Bury St Edmunds-based pub operator, Greene King is seeking a partner for a property joint venture for 35 per cent of its pub assets, and plans to return at least £100m to shareholders through changes to its “sub-optimal” debt structure.

The brewery firm said that it is looking for a partner in a OpCo/PropCo joint venture for the 872 of its pubs outside a securitisation arrangement, and anticipates a transaction during the course of the year, under the right conditions.

It said that planned to utilise the strong cash generation of its business to change the fixed cover charge of its debt from 2.8x to 2.3 times, and would return up to £100m of the funds generated by the change to shareholders by way of share buy-backs. It also reported pre-tax profits before exceptionals of £139.8m, up 17 per cent on last year, on the back of a 12 per cent increase in revenues for the group to £917.5m.

Shares in Greene King have shot up seven and a half percent on the back of the announcement, growing 72p to 1032p.

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