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Stonegate buys Ei Group for £3bn

Stonegate Pubs has reached agreement with the Ei Group (formerly Enterprise) to buy their entire pub estate.  

EIG is the largest owner of pubs in the UK with over 4,000 properties across England and Wales. Stonegate is a managed pub company and has a national estate of over 765 operating outlets. Stonegate began trading in November 2010 following the acquisition by Stonegate
of 333 pubs from Mitchells & Butlers.

Ian Payne, the Chairman of Stonegate, said: “It is an exciting prospect to bring EIG and Stonegate together to create a diversified pubs
group with significant industry expertise.”

“At Stonegate, we have an established track record of running successful pubs throughout the UK – with over £350 million having been spent on capital expenditure at Stonegate since it began trading in November 2010. We plan to leverage our existing managed house
infrastructure, portfolio of formats and access to capital and invest in the combined estate for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

“We look forward to working with EIG and its publicans to support future growth and create stronger pubs at the heart of communities across the UK.”

Following the news, CAMRA issued the following statement:

Ben Wilkinson, CAMRA’s National Director said: “For many EIG has become a byword for unfair business practices and disregard for the social value of pubs. Its custodianship of thousands of community pubs has not been a happy period and it’s clear many will welcome this news. However, such a significant change will create anxiety and we call on Stonegate to be clear and open about their plans as early as possible.

“This deal will make Stonegate the largest pub owner in the UK, and that brings a huge responsibility both to consumers and to their tenants. We hope Stonegate seizes this opportunity to make a firm commitment to adhere to the spirit and letter of the Pubs Code and spearhead a new, more positive era in the industry by setting a gold standard for thriving pubs based on fair and equitable business practices.”