The principal finance group of Nomura International, the Japanese investment bank, has sold 1,200 public houses to Pubmaster in a £523m transaction.
According to reports, the bank is understood to have made a £160m profit on the deal, having bought the pubs from Greenalls for £385m in 1998.
US investment bank Salomon Smith Barney helped Nomura find a buyer for the business. Had no deal taken place, Nomura would have turned to securitising the estate’s future income stream.
For Pubmaster, the deal marks an important step towards implementing an ongoing acquisition strategy. Last year the group came close to buying Britain’s largest regional brewer, Wolverhampton & Dudley.
Pubmaster said it paid £101m for Inn’s equity and spent £422m on paying off debt and incentives. The group, which is controlled by WestLB, now owns 3,200 pubs in the UK. Nomura, which prior to the deal was the largest pub landlord in the country, retains a portfolio of 4,000 public houses. Punch Taverns has an estate of 4,200.