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January 11, 2009

RBS considers sale of pub estate

by Gill Montia

Story link: RBS considers sale of pub estate

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is reported to be considering the sale of its estate of pubs, which comprises around 1,000 venues.

The credit crisis forced the group into a round of fundraising that last year included the sale of its Angel Trains rolling stock division, for £3.6 billion, and a record breaking £12 billion rights issue.

The bank, which has been majority state-owned since November, has an estate of pubs managed by Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises (S&NPE) and valued at over £600 million.

The bulk of the estate was acquired in 2000 from Scottish & Newcastle for around £450 million and the transaction included an agreement that S&NPE should manage the pubs for a minimum of 10 years.

It is understood that three property investment companies and one pub operator are showing an interest.

RBS has also been blowing hot and cold over the sale of its £7 billion insurance unit, which includes the Direct Line and Churchill brands.

In December, the bank was reported to have rejected an offer for the business from private equity group CVC Capital Partners and this weekend, the Sunday Times has reported that Apollo Management and BC Partners are working on a bid.

 

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