Marston's Faces Another Takeover Bid
Wolverhampton’s Marston’s has received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from the American firm Platinum Equity, regarding a possible cash offer for its share capital. Marston’s also called on Platinum to announce its firm intention to make an offer no later than 5pm on 26 February.
The company is currently valued at £555m, having seen its shares nosedive then partially recover since the outbreak of Covid-19. Marston’s made a total loss of £397.1m during twelve months to 3rd October 2020, following the closure of its pub estate for 15 weeks.
However, news of Platinum Equity’s interest today (29 January) saw the operator’s shares make a 16%, or 12p, leap to 87p. The news comes just weeks after Marston’s announced that it would operate SA Brain’s portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales on a combination of leased and management contract arrangements, safeguarding 1,300 jobs in December.
And a £780m Marston’s and Carlsberg joint venture to create the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company was completed in August, following clearance from the Competition’s and Markets Authority. That deal saw Marston’s hand over the keys to its beer business and become a ‘focused pub operator’ for the first time in its near 200-year history.
There have been more than 180 mergers and acquisitions completed in the UK pub sector between the start of 2018 and end of 2019, including the taking over of Fuller’s by Japanese company Asahi and the £2.7bn acquisition of Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King by Hong Kong-based CK Bidco.
Marston’s previously known as Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery has a history of over-extending itself with brewery acquisitions and putting itself at risk of being bought out.