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Wed 18th Feb 2015 - Sapient reports more than £1bn of sector deal activity
Sapient forecasts ‘busy’ 2015 after advising on more than £1bn of pub and bar sector transactions in 2014: Leading sector advisory Sapient Corporate Finance has forecast that 2015 will be another busy year for mergers and acquisitions activity after it advised on more than £1bn of transactions in 2014. Deal activity this year will be stimulated in part by the government’s intervention in the tied tenanted model, Sapient stated. The company reported that 2014 saw it advising on a variety of major sector deals as well as debt refinancings. Sapient advised Cerberus Capital Management on the sale of 16 London freehold pubs, let to Spirit Pub Company, for £100m to a combination of institutional funds, private investors and charitable trusts. The portfolio comprised a number of landmark central London assets, including the Shakespeare’s Head in Covent Garden, the Two Chairmen in St James’s Park, the Rose & Crown in Mayfair and the Zetland Arms in South Kensington. The year saw Sapient advise on £800 million of the £1.0 billion of mergers and acquisitions deals completed in the pub and bar sector. In addition to advising Cerberus on two acquisitions from Prestbury, Sapient advised The Orchid Group on its £266 million sale to Mitchells & Butlers and Admiral Taverns on its acquisition of 111 pubs from Heineken UK. Sapient has also reported providing debt advisory services on £345 million of transactions in the investment property, pub and bar sectors – it has completed over £1.2 billion of such transactions in the last eight years. The deal activity means Sapient remains the market leader for corporate finance advice to the pub, bar and nightclub sector, having completed £2.5 billion of deals since the beginning of 2009, more than the next five advisers combined. It has advised on 39 transactions during this period, over half of which were for less than £50 million. In addition, Sapient reported that it has advised on all mergers and acquisitions transactions valued at over £100 million between 2009 and 2014. Sapient partner Peter Hansen said: “We were fortunate to be very active during 2014 both in terms of M&A and debt advisory roles. A combination of improved trading across the sector and increased appetite from equity investors and debt providers resulted in high levels of activity making 2014 the busiest year for M&A since 2007. We expect that 2015 will be similarly busy as sector consolidation continues, led in part by recent government intervention in the tied tenanted model.”

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