Marston's soars on takeover bid from US private equity firm

Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
Close up of served beer in Sydney pub,
Shares in the company rose nearly 20% following the offer. Photo: Getty

Marston’s (MARS.L) has confirmed it has received an “unsolicited” takeover bid from US private equity group Platinum Equity.

The pub chain said it was “evaluating” the proposal, with further company announcement to be made in “due course” on Friday.

A company statement said: “The Board of Marston’s notes the press speculation and confirms that it has today received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from Platinum Equity Advisors regarding a possible cash offer for the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of Marston’s.

It added that “there can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made.”

Platinum has until 5pm on 26 February to declare its intention to make an offer or announce its withdrawal, in accordance with the takeover code.

Shares in the company rose nearly 20% following the offer.

Chart: Yahoo Finance
Chart: Yahoo Finance

It comes as the company reported revenues of just £54m ($74m) for the final quarter of 2020 earlier this month. The last three months of the year includes the Christmas period when hospitality businesses traditionally earn the money they need to get through January, which is typically quiet.

READ MORE: Marston's to save 1,300 jobs by operating Brains pubs in Wales

In December, Marston’s inked a deal to operate 156 Brains pubs in Wales, saving the Cardiff-based beer brand from collapse — a move which saves 1,300 jobs.

The deal will see Marston’s operate 141 pubs under the Brains brand with a further 15 short-leasehold sites to be operated under management contract for two years.

Marston’s will operate the 141 freehold pubs on a leasehold basis from February 2021 with an annual rent of £5.5m ($7.3m) charged from April 2021.

The company estimated that the deal will result in a rise in costs of up to £2m to operate the additional pubs, as the 1,300 employees transfer to Marston’s.

Last year, it completed a £780m joint venture with Carlsberg (CARL-B.CO).

Currently, all of Marston's 1,368 pubs across the UK remain closed due the COVID-19 lockdown. In October, the pub chain announced it would axe up to 2,150 furloughed jobs because of the lockdowns.

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