Punch confuses Allied-Domecq deal

Hostile takeover leaves Whitbread pub acquistions in doubt

June 5, 1999 - Britain's Punch Taverns plans to launch a hostile cash bid for Allied Domecq's pub interests later this month, a Punch spokesman said this week. The bid will top the offer launched by Whitbread PLC. The spokesman said Punch Taverns is waiting for Allied to publish details on the Whitbread deal before launching an official bid.


Whitbread and Allied have been treating the proposed transaction as a done deal where Whitbread would acquire around 3,500 pubs and restaurants, Allied's 50 percent stake in joint venture First Quench and its 25 percent stake in Britannia soft drinks.

That deal, should it go through, would nearly double the number of pubs owned by Whitbread to more than 6,000, making it the largest operator of pubs in the country. However, the company would have to sell its brewery business to comply with U.K. regulations that block brewers from owning more than 5,000 pubs.

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