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Wed 10th Feb 2016 - AB InBev receives binding offer for Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime
AB InBev receives binding offer for Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime: AB InBev has received a binding offer from Japan-based Asahi Group Holdings to acquire Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime Brewery. Asahi’s offer values the Peroni, Grolsch, and Meantime brand families and associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, UK and internationally at €2,550m on a debt free/cash free basis. The parties will now commence the relevant employee information and consultation processes applicable to a potential sale of these brands and businesses. AB InBev has agreed to a period of exclusivity with Asahi in respect of these brands and businesses while these consultation processes are ongoing. Asahi’s offer, if accepted by AB InBev, is conditional on the successful closing of the recommended acquisition of SABMiller by AB InBev as announced on 11 November 2015, which itself contains certain regulatory pre-conditions and conditions, including approval by the European Commission of Asahi as a purchaser of the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brand families and related businesses. AB InBev will make a further announcement upon any formal acceptance by it of Asahi’s offer. Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, said: “We are pleased to have received this binding offer from Asahi on the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands and businesses – iconic beer brands with longstanding heritage and leading positions in core markets.” In connection with this transaction, Lazard and Deutsche Bank AG are acting as financial advisors to AB InBev. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as legal counsel to AB InBev.

Sugar Hut boss secures Stonegate’s Living Room site in Liverpool for second site: Mick Norcross, owner of Brentwood’s iconic Sugar Hut site, has secured Stonegate’s Living room site in Liverpool’s Victoria Street for its second site as part of a self-funded roll-out. The existing Sugar Hut site, which features extensively on The Only Way is Essex, is currently achieving record trading 11 years after opening – it turn over circa £3m a year. Norcross is eyeing Newcastle and a site in the south west with a target of a maximum of five UK Sugar Hut venues before considering international expansion. Norcross told Propel: “The time for a roll-out is right. Sugar Hut is a globally recognised brand – The Only Way is Essex is shown in 80 countries around the world and has great digital equity. Living Room Liverpool has a capacity of 840 and will lend itself to a great multi-room site Our new group chief executive Terry Pullen has a very food-led background an we’ve already engaged with an executive chef and a renowned interior designer with a view to a slight re-brand as well as a great food offer.”

Corney & Barrow Bars reduces losses: London wine bar and restaurant operator Corney & Barrow Bars, led by Ed Gardner has reduced its losses. The company reported a pre-tax loss of £498,187 in the year ending 30 April 2015, compared with £807,453 the previous year, according to accounts filed with Companies House. Turnover fell to £14,105,116, compared with £14,876,100 the year before. The company stated: “Headline turnover (exclusive of service charge) was down 5% but like-for like sales were up 5.4% on last year (previous year up 2% like-for-like). Further recovery is budgeted in the coming year. Gross profit margin at 75.0% was up on last year (74.0%) and up on the previous year (73.6%). The ratio of personnel costs to sales varies between the bars depending on their size and location. After taking out exceptional items, the ratio fell by 0.1% compared to the previous year after taking into account rises in the National Minimum Wage and related costs. The company will continue to roll-out its refurbishment programme in the year ahead and make measured and controlled investments in projects that are designed to deliver tangible business value.”

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