PE consortium to bid for Nomura pubs

Enterprise Inns is to back a PE consortium bid for Unique and Voyager pub estates.

Enterprise Inns is keen on a piece of the pub estate put up for sale by Nomura International – albeit not by way of an outright purchase.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday 4 March, the UK pub estate manager has announced that it is not currently considering an outright purchase of Unique and Voyager, two of the pub estates controlled by Nomura.

However, Enterprise Inns confirmed that it is in discussions with a private equity consortium which is considering a bid for the Unique and Voyager estates. Under the current proposals, Enterprise would be a minority investor in the bid vehicle and is providing advice to the consortium as to the quality and potential of the estate.

Enterprise would have an option to purchase, in two years time, the entire share capital of the new company. Prior to the exercise of this option, which would be subject to Enterprise shareholder approval at the appropriate time, there would be no integration of the businesses of the newco and Enterprise.

Enterprise Inns is thought to have the backing of a private equity group led by Cinven and including Legal & General ventures.

Press speculation over the weekend suggested that Enterprise Inns and Punch, were planning to table bids of £2bn for Nomura's 4,300 pubs and aimed to tie up a deal before March 20 – a deadline imposed by investment bank Schroders, which is handling the sale.