M&B enters exclusive talks to buy Orchid pub company -The Times

Wed May 28, 2014 7:37pm EDT

May 29 (Reuters) - British pubs group Mitchells & Butlers has entered exclusive talks to acquire rival Orchid pub company for more than 250 million pounds after outbidding private equity firms Colony Capital and Starwood Capital, The Times reported late Wednesday.

The newspaper said that the Harvester and All Bar One operator is buying about 170 to 180 of Orchid's 220 pubs, with the balance expected to be tipped into administration with consultant EY.

M&B, which runs almost 1,600 food-led pubs, is understood to have offered 266 million pounds, although the final price is likely to be about 256 million pounds after adjusting for working capital in the business, The Times reported.

The newspaper said M&B is thought to have offered about 10 million to 15 million pounds more than Colony Capital, the underbidder, with Starwood Capital a little lower still.

British brewer Greene King pulled out of takeover talks last week, saying the transaction did not meet the company's strict acquisition criteria.

Mitchells & Butlers, Colony Capital and Starwood Capital could not be reached outside of normal business hours.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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