The bank also raised its target price for the FTSE 100-listed firm to 5,550p, up from 4,470p previously, offering 20% upside potential with the shares currently changing hands at 4,642p each, up 0.06% on Thursday’s close.
In a note to clients, Barclays’ analysts said the significant value unlocked by Whitbread’s move to sell its Costa Coffee chain for £3.9bn to Cola-Cola Inc (NYSE:KO) gives the UK firm “interesting optionality”.
They added: ”We see Premier Inn as a strong format with potential to become a structural winner and to further improve execution with no Costa distraction.”
Whitbread bought Costa for £19mln in 1995 when the business had just 39 outlets. It is now the UK's largest coffee chain with more than 2,400 UK coffee shops and 1,400 outlets in 31 overseas markets.
The group said it plans to return a “significant majority” of proceeds from the disposal to shareholders.
The deal representing a multiple of 16.4x Costa’s fiscal year 2019 earnings (EBITDA).