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Mon 9th Dec 2013 - Breaking News - Sale of Convivial estate to raise in excess of £16.9m
Sale of Convivial estate to raise in excess of £16.9m: The seven Convivial London Pub Company sites in London on the market through agent Christie + Co will sell for in excess of their original combined asking price of £16.9m, shareholders have been told. Mitchells & Butlers has already bought four sites – The Lamb Brewery, The Crown and Anchor, The Botanist Brewery and The Mitre Hotel – for in excess of the asking price of £13.3 million. Convivial chairman David Maxwell Scott told shareholders: “The objective of preparing the company for a members’ voluntary liquidation, by selling its entire estate of seven public houses, returning net proceeds to shareholders and winding the company up, is nearly complete. The Pakenham, The Lamb Brewery, The Crown & Anchor, The Botanist Brewery and The Mitre Hotel have all been sold. Furthermore we have exchanged contracts to sell the company’s remaining two pubs - The Hansom Cab and The Clifton. Completions for the sale of these two pubs will take place on 12 and 18 December 2013 respectively. The Convivial Board is pleased with all the sale prices agreed. In aggregate they are in excess of the original guide prices and demonstrate the high quality of the estate. It is expected that once the final accounts of the company are prepared and the members’ voluntary liquidation is achieved the amount that will be returned to shareholders will be approximately 95p per share. The Board accepts that, in isolation, this is a poor return for an investment held for ten years. However, given the parlous state that the business was in at the onset of the economic downturn in 2008, the manner in which (Kris Gumbrell’s company) Eclipse has rebuilt most of the original value is quite remarkable.” The company is expected to appoint Smith and Williamson LLP to carry out a members’ voluntary liquidation in the New Year. The Convivial pubs and their asking prices are: The Mitre Hotel, Greenwich SE10 - offers in excess of £6 million; The Lamb Brewery, Chiswick W4 – freehold – offers in excess of £2.8 million; The Clifton, St John’s Wood NW8 – freehold – offers in excess of £2.9 million; The Botanist Brewery, Richmond TW9 – freehold – offers in excess of £2.5 million; The Crown & Anchor, Chiswick W4 – freehold – offers in excess of £2 million; The Hansom Cab, Kensington W8 – long-leasehold – offers in excess of £700,000. Maxwell Scott added: “In the past five years the company’s performance has been one of solid growth. After steadying the ship in 2008/9 and achieving an encouraging level of profitability in that year it then became possible to restart investing in the estate. A comprehensive programme was carried out, the highlights of which were the complete upgrading of the hotel section in The Mitre, the repositioning of The Crown & Anchor and installations of micro breweries in The Botanist and The Lamb (formerly The Barley Mow). The effect of these and other improvements coupled with the tightly focused and creative management from Eclipse served to put the company onto a virtuous cycle of improving profitability. By the end of 2012 the company’s properties were all in good shape and trading well. Profit before tax for the year 2011/12 had grown to just under £1m.”

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