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Ei Group expects completion of takeover early in 2020

The competition and markets authority is still mulling whether to approve the £1.3bn deal

Ei Group PLC -
Net debt dropped to £1.7bn or 52% of the estate value.

Britain’s biggest pub group Ei Group PLC (LON:EIG) took a slew of write-downs ahead of its takeover by rival publican Stonegate.

The competition and markets authority is still mulling whether to approve the £1.3bn deal but subject to that Ei expects it go through in the first quarter of next year.

Ei posted a loss of £199mln in the year to September, in spite of sales rising in both the managed and tenanted arms.

Impairment charges of £232mln and a further £62mln in one-offs, dragged down the bottom line numbers.

Net debt dropped to £1.7bn or 52% of the estate value.

Simon Townsend, chief executive, said it was a strong trading performance for the year, particularly given the challenging trading comparatives.

"We continue to deliver sustained like-for-like net income growth within our core Publican Partnerships business and are generating strong returns as we expand our Managed Operations and Managed Investments businesses."

The disposal of 354 properties enabled Ei to accelerate our debt reduction plans as well as returning capital to shareholders, he added.

Shares were unchanged at 282p, just below Stonegate’s offer of 285p each in cash.

Quick facts: Ei Group PLC

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LSE:EIG
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