Greene King beats Fullers to seal deal for Capital Pub Co

GREENE King is to buy the Capital Pub Company, beating rival Fuller, Smith and Turner to take over the business.

The Capital Pub Company, which has 34 pubs, has accepted the £70m cash offer which trumped Fullers’ £54m takeover approach last month.

The chain, which specialises in revamping pubs in affluent London areas, rejected Fullers’ bid as too low.

Greene King said it wants to expand its presence in what it described as the “attractive and growing premium eating and drinking out market in London”.

If the deal is accepted by Capital’s shareholders, the combined group will have 250 pubs in Greater London.

Greene King is offering investors 235p per share.

Capital’s shares were trading at 155.5p before the offers were made. Fuller’s rejected offer was for 200p.

Capital chief executive Clive Watson said the deal is “bitter-sweet” for him, as he would have liked to keep the company independent for a while longer.

He added: “I am happy the business has gone to a good home.

“Once Fuller’s put us in play I realised independence was not an option.” Watson will pocket several millions from the deal but said he would go on to build another business rather than retire.

Capital’s pubs include The Bishop in Dulwich and The Ladbroke Arms on Ladbroke Road.

Greene King boss Rooney Anand said: “These are fantastic pubs.... London is very important to our strategy.”

ADVISERS: DEUTSCHE

JAMES AGNEW

DEUTSCHE BANK

The team from the bank that sealed Greene King’s deal for Capital Pubs was led from London by chairman of UK corporate broking James Agnew. He is joined on the deal by Steven Varlakhov, a consumer M&A banker, and Andrew Smith in corporate broking. Agnew, a veteran banker with almost 20 years experience in corporate broking, currently sits on the Takeover Panel and has had a prolific City career. He currently sits on the London Stock Exchange Primary Markets Group. Most recently he led a team which advised Amec on its £173m takeover bid for MACTEC.

He has also advised Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on its approach for the shares the company does not already own in British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which has now hit the buffers in the wake of the phone hacking scandal which has engulfed the Murdoch empire. He also advised Kraft on its bid for Cadbury. Agnew joined Deutsche in 2002, having previously been head of corporate broking at Merrill Lynch from 1995. Lazard also advised on the Greene King deal.