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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 20th Mar 2015 - Tesco insulates itself from indexed rent reviews
Tesco insulates itself from indexed rent reviews: Tesco, which is in the midst of re-shaping its strategy, has regained sole ownership of 21 superstores in a transaction with British Land aimed at insulating itself from indexed rent increases. The 21 superstores and associated debt were part of a joint venture between Tesco and British Land and were all subject to RPI-indexed rent increases. In exchange for the superstores, British Land will take over Tesco’s stake in three shopping centres, three retail parks and three standalone stores that are held in two joint ventures between the two companies. Tesco will continue to lease the stores at these sites at market rents that are not subject to RPI-indexed increases. As part of the transaction, Tesco will also receive £96m from British Land. Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: “Last year we identified the opportunity to increase the proportion of our stores we own as freehold. This transaction with British Land allows us to increase our ownership and thereby insulate more of our businesses from indexed rent reviews. We have a long way to go but it’s a transaction that takes us in the right direction. This agreement makes our business simpler and stronger.” Charles Maudsley, head of retail and leisure, British Land, said: “This mutually beneficial transaction clearly demonstrates the great relationship we enjoy with Tesco. It plays to our strengths of managing multi-let assets and gives Tesco more control of their stand-alone portfolio. We see significant opportunity to add value and drive returns through asset management and development.”

AG Barr adds non-executive director to board: Soft drinks company AG Barr has announced that David Ritchie will join the board as an independent non-executive director with effect from 1 April 2015. Ritchie is a qualified CA, with a BA (Hons) Economics and Accounting degree from Reading University and is currently chief executive of Bovis Homes Group. He joined Bovis in 1998 from KPMG as group financial controller becoming group finance director in 2002 and chief executive in 2008. John Nicolson, chairman of AG Barr, said: “I am delighted that David Ritchie will be joining our Board in April 2015. He brings with him a wealth of highly relevant experience and I look forward to his involvement.” David Ritchie said: “I am very pleased to be appointed as a non-executive director of AG Barr and look forward to working with the Board.”

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