UK: Marston’s rejects unsolicited takeover bid

Marston’s, the UK pub group rejected today an unsolicited offer for its business from Platinum Equity Advisors, a Beverly Hills, California-based private equity group. The all-cash proposal of 105p per share revealed on Friday valued the business at GBP 693 million (USD 947m).

Marston’s board unanimously dismissed the offer and two earlier proposals made in December worth 88p and 95p a share, arguing that they “very significantly” undervalued the business. The board said that even the latest and highest offer was 19 per cent below the company’s share price at the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic caused pubs and restaurants to close for a long time.

In the meantime the company has undergone a radical restructuring. Last May Marston’s and Carlsberg UK announced to combine their both businesses and form a new, joint venture beer company, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company worth about GBP 780 million (USD 950m). (, 22.5.2020)

In December, Wales’ biggest and still family-owned brewer S.A. Brain & Co Ltd handed over its 156 pubs on a combination of leased and management arrangements to Marston’s. With effect from February 2021, Marston’s will operate the 141 freehold pubs on a leasehold basis, with rent chargeable from April 2021. The majority of these pubs will be on long lease agreements of 25 years. (, 23.12.2020)

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