Greene King sells up
Hong Kong’s richest family will buy Greene King’s 2,700 pubs, restaurants, and hotels — as well as its brewery and raft of brands — for £2.7 billion, as well as taking on its debt worth an additional £1.9 billion. The brewery and pub group, which is the U.K.’s largest and owns brands including Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen, employs around 38,000 people at its nearly 3,000 venues. Share prices have already risen by 50 percent, according to the BBC.
The deal is the latest in a string of consolidations in the sector: Fuller’s, the Chiswick-based brewer, sold its beer production operation to Japan’s biggest brewer Asahi for £250 million; Slug and Lettuce operator Stonegate bought Ei Group for £1.3 billion last month. Some of the impetus behind CKA’s deal comes from a perhaps unlikely source: sales of Greene King IPA have been rising on the Chinese mainland in since 2015, after President Xi Jinping sunk a pint with then U.K. prime minister and Brexit referendum instigator David Cameron. [BBC]
And in other news...
- Kolamba, a new Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho, is inspired by the owners’ childhood in Colombo.
- The best restaurants in Forest Gate: globetrotting fried chicken, sweet cinnamon buns, and more.
- The funniest joke of Edinburgh Fringe 2019 is all about vegetarian food, from a comedian called Olaf Falafel.
- Sons and Daughters sandwich shop at Coal Drops Yard is packing peanut butter and jelly soft serve and miso egg mayonnaise. No sourdough in sight.
- An immersive DC Universe restaurant — complete with Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman — will open in Soho.
- Five Guys is testing something new in Worcester: Showing films alongside burgers. Best of both drive-thrus. Without the driving thru. [Propel]
- Good tweet:
Good to have a vegetarian option pic.twitter.com/vAQCA4jXU7— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) August 19, 2019