Gosschalks assists LSE listed Ei Group PLC in £348 million portfolio sale

Andrew Bell,  25th March, 2019

In a deal which completed in mid-March 2019 Gosschalks’ specialist licensed leisure team have assisted Ei Group PLC, the London Stock Exchange listed FTSE250 company, in their sale of a portfolio of 370 commercial sites, comprising both freehold and leasehold properties, to Tavern PropCo Limited.

The experienced and specialist team at Gosschalks, led by Partner Andrew Bell, undertook all of the property and principal transactional aspects of the deal as a key member in a team also including CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Rothschild & Co, London; and Colliers International.

Speaking on the deal Andrew confirmed:

“We are thrilled to assist a key client in such an important transaction. This sale is a hallmark of the continued success of Ei Group PLC who are demonstrating their ability to operate a successful and profitable estate in the face of what has been, for some time, a challenging time for the public house sector nationally.”

Commenting on the transaction, Simon Townsend, Chief Executive Officer of Ei Group PLC has said:

“We are very pleased to have agreed the sale of the Portfolio, which is in line with our strategy of delivering attractive and sustainable returns to Shareholders by unlocking the embedded value and optimising the returns from every asset within the business. The Portfolio is comprised of high quality assets which we believe are best suited to a free-of-tie, rent-only business model. Throughout the sale process, we have been impressed with the commitment and speed of execution demonstrated by Davidson Kempner, a global institutional investment management firm with over US $31 billion in assets under management and a long track record of investing in real estate.”

The deal, which represents a 13 times multiple of earnings, was in line with the net book values of the assets will mean that Ei Group PLC can continue to focus on their key estate management strategies.

Commentating on the deal execution, General Counsel at Ei Group PLC said:

“This was a significant transaction executed at pace. The Ei team worked closely with the Gosschalks team, led by Andrew Bell, so that all preparatory legal tasks for the portfolio disposal were in hand and completed early in the process. This allowed us to move swiftly onto contract with our successful bidder and efficiently onto completion after regulatory approval. The Gosschalks team was outstanding in delivering high quality legal services, at pace and on a competitive fee structure”.

The Gosschalks team who handled this transaction was:

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