LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – Leading law firm Cobbetts has played…

LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – Leading law firm Cobbetts has played a major role in assisting leisure giant Whitbread Group Plc on the disposal of 239 of its freestanding pub restaurant sites to Mitchells & Butler plc, for £497 million. The deal completed on 28th July 2006.

Listed on the Stock Exchange, Whitbread is the UK’s leading hospitality company managing leading brands such as Premier Travel Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater, Costa, T.G.I. Friday’s and David Lloyd Leisure.

Paul Inman, head of retail and leisure and partner Simon Worrall led the Cobbetts team. Paul said: “This major disposal is part of Whitbread’s chosen strategy of refocusing its core business on those brands which it considers the most profitable for the company going forward. Disposing of its standalone pub restaurant businesses will allow Whitbread to make significant investment in Premier Travel Inn, where there is potential for developing both new and existing sites. We have been working closely with Whitbread on a number of projects, with various sites under contract or in development and the pipeline of new instructions is strong.” He continued: “The disposal was conducted against an extremely tight timescale and allowed us to demonstrate the strength of resource we now have across our three offices in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. This was very much a team effort and a ‘one office’ approach”

Whitbread Group Legal Director, Russell Fairhurst, commented: “We expect a lot from our lawyers and were very pleased by the role the Cobbetts team played in helping us complete the deal.”

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