Greene King buys Cloverleaf

GREENE King has bought the pub restaurant group Cloverleaf for £56m.

Chief executive Rooney Anand (pictured) said the acquisition, combined with a planned investment of around £25m to open ten new Cloverleaf premises within two years, would utilise the remaining balance of its rights issue proceeds.

The deal has added another 12 restaurants to Greene King’s existing pub estate.

It already has the Hungry Horse carvery chain, as well as Loch Fyne sea food restaurants, Scottish business Belhaven and the Old English chain.

Cloverleaf was founded in 2004 by former Whitbread executives Gary Douglas and John Winder and operates across the north and midlands.

Meanwhile Greene King yesterday said that trading had been solid despite sales being hit by the weather.

Like-for-like sales rose 3.9 per cent, across its Greene King retail estate in the 38 weeks to 23 January. Food sales rose 8.2 per cent. “The short-term outlook for the UK consumer is unclear, but we are confident we will... meet our expectations for the financial year”, Greene King said.