- Pub operator Ei Group said Friday it had agreed to sell the bulk of its property portfolio to Tavern Propco for £348m.

The sale of 370 properties, including public houses and other commercial properties, represented a 'significant' proportion of the current Ei Commercial Properties division, which had a portfolio of 412 properties.

Tavern Propco, a newly incorporated private company, was owned through intermediate holding companies, by investment funds managed and advised by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, the company said.

A significant proportion of the proceeds from the sale would be used to reduce the level of the group's outstanding debt, accelerating the delivery of the group's medium-term target leverage ratio of 6x net debt to earnings (EBITDA), the company said.

The sale, at 13 times multiple of earnings, was in line with the net book value of the assets, would also provide the company with the opportunity to consider more immediate returns to shareholders, it added.

Tavern paid Ei Group a deposit of £33.66m, which was non-refundable unless shareholders do not approve the sale, Ei group also said.

Story provided by