HOTEL and restaurant group Whitbread has agreed a £51m sale and leaseback deal on seven Premier Inn sites, as it frees up cash to spend on its expansion.
The FTSE 100 firm, which also owns Costa, yesterday said it is to sell the buildings to NFU Mutual and Standard Life Assurance, which will lease them back to Whitbread on 25 year leases.
The group will continue to operate the hotels, which are located in places including Liverpool, Exeter and Lancaster.
The deal reflects a £19.6m profit over book value and is 95 per cent of the 2007 valuation.
It is also the third sale and leaseback by Whitbread over the past two years, which together total around £141m.
Group finance director Nicholas Cadbury said: “This sale and leaseback is a continued evolution of our overall funding portfolio, and follows our successful 2011 US private placement and bank refinancing.”
Shares rose 1.9 per cent to 46p.