UK: Greene King buys pub group for GBP56m

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Greene King has bought the Cloverleaf Restaurants group in the UK for GBP55.8m (US$88.5m) as the brewer seeks to expand into pubs that serve food.
Greene King said today (31 January) that it has completed the acquisition of Cloverleaf, which has 12 outlets across the north and midlands of England. The deal has a value of 8.7 times Cloverleaf’s annual EBITDA.
Cloverleaf’s food-led pub estate is “growing strong organically” and will hand Greene King a greater presence “on the growing carvery market”, said the Old Speckled Hen brewer.
Separately, Greene King said that it remains confident on its full-year performance, despite tough conditions for the UK on-trade amid a weak UK economy in general. “We are confident that we will continue to deliver profitable growth over the rest of the financial year,” said the group, which also brews Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale.
Own-brewed beer sales for the 38 weeks to 23 January fell by 3% in volume on the same period of the previous year, Greene King said. However, this compares to a UK ale market that shrank by 7.6% over the same period.
Last week, rival brewers Marston’s and Fuller, Smith & Turner reported improved beer sales for the four months to 22 January.