24 Aug 17 – Revolution accepts Stonegate bid, Bank holidays, Brexit, transport & esports:
24 Aug 17 – Revolution accepts Stonegate offer, Bank holidays, Brexit, transport & esports:
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Parts of Langton are on holiday. Back properly after the Bank Holiday but, for the meantime (and rural internet permitting), the email will go out in shortened form. On to the news:
PUB, RESTAURANT & DRINK PRODUCERS:
Stonegegate’s 203p per share cash bid for Revolution has been accepted, valuing the latter at £101.5m and representing a 62.4% premium to Revolution’s 125p share price just before Stonegate’s bid. Commenting on the Offer, Keith Edelman, non-executive chairman of Revolution, said: ‘We believe that the offer from Stonegate represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for Revolution Shareholders, reflecting the high quality of the business, its people, market position and future prospects… Stonegate is an experienced operator in this sector that understands Revolution’s ethos with its unique premium bar offering.’
Trade bodies from across the UK’s £110bn food and drink supply industry, which employs some four million people, have published a survey on the ‘farm to fork’ sector’s Brexit priorities. Of the two million EU nationals in the UK, 20% work in across the food and drink supply chain. The survey found that almost half (47%) of businesses asked said EU nationals were considering leaving the country due to uncertainty, and 36% said they would become unviable if they had no access to EU workers.
The survey makes a number of recommendations, such as securing the rights of EEA nationals in the UK, building an attractive and effective migration system, investing in skills for the food and drink supply chain and establishing a benefits system that makes flexible working easier.
Discussing the findings, Ian Wright CBE, Director General, Food & Drink Federation said: ‘It is only a matter of time before the uncertainty reported by businesses results in an irreversible exit of EU workers from these shores. This is a scenario that will hurt the UK culturally and economically. Meanwhile, Brigid Simmonds of the BBPA commented: ‘This survey shows it is vital that the uncertainties of Brexit, for our EU workforce, are resolved as soon as possible.’
Pub-owning businesses (POBs) are blocking tied tenants’ access to the market rent only option, according to the pubs code adjudicator’s MRO Verification Exercise report. Evidence in the report confirms that relevant businesses have acted against the spirit of the pubs code by making it difficult for tied tenants to exercise their MRO rights with tactics such as withholding information and offering unreasonably high rents. Referring their cases to the PCA lengthens an already lengthy process, with costs often forcing tenants to drop out of the process.
The most significant way in which POBs can obstruct tenants is by insisting that a brand new tenancy agreement is required, in which can be included new terms with big up-front costs, rather than a deed of variation (DoV), in order ‘to make MRO appear as unattractive as possible’.
The BBPA criticised the PCA’s report as ‘one-sided, anecdotal, not evidence-based and lacking in transparency’, while the ALMR commented that delays and uncertainty ‘are piling costs on to operators’ and that the ‘overriding message from the report is that, more than a year in, there are still too many grey areas in the process.’
An independent audit has deemed that retail standards of Star Pubs & Bars’ pubs have improved by 10% in the past three years and the gap between its lowest and highest scoring outlets is now smaller than ever.
HOLIDAYS, LEISURE TRAVEL & HOTEL:
The Trafalgar hotel in central London has been rebranded as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton.
Tui boss Friedrich Joussen has called the Brexit two year timescale ‘unrealistic’ and believes the process could take as long as a decade to fully implement. Speaking to City A.M. Joussen added that the infrastructure challenges alone were being handled too slowly for any exit to be swift.
Low-cost fares powered Gatwick airport to a 14% increase in long-haul passengers over the holiday weekend compared to last year.
Almost two million extra people plan to take a domestic break over the bank holiday weekend, with 6.9 million Britons are planning an overnight holiday in the UK this weekend per VisitEngland’s tracker survey. This compares to 5.1 million last year.
Jet2.com is looking for 1,700 extra staff as the expanding airline looks to fill 80 pilot, 900 cabin crew and more than 700 ground operations positions for summer 2018. Capacity is being increased by 13% to 9.8 million seats following the introduction of new bases at Birmingham and Stansted airports.
Passenger demand for flights could fall by as much as 41% if an interim ‘open skies’ aviation deal is not struck quickly between the UK and EU, according to a report submitted to the government by leading UK airports. ‘With airlines, passengers and airports having to plan months if not years in advance, this has potentially detrimental consequences for UK competitiveness, trade, growth and living standards, which all become more significant the longer that UK and EU negotiators fail to deliver a new trading relationship or transitional deal,’ says the report.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester has told leaders attending a transport summit in Leeds that the north of England ‘needs transport now’. Andy Burnham said the north’s ‘outdated, expensive, and slow transport system’ was holding back growth and some parts of the system had not improved since the 1960’s.
Game Digital shares shot up 35% thanks to better-than-expected sales in the second half of the financial year. In a strategic update, Game said it was further prioritising its e-sport activities after a review, and was ‘evaluating strategic options’ for its Multiplay Digital division, which hosts servers for gaming. Last year Game launched its Belong ‘gaming arenas’, and now has 18 Belong sites where customers compete against each other on consoles within the store and the group’s CEO commented: ‘Game has now opened 18 Belong arenas, and we have seen encouraging early performance. We have reviewed our operations and are now accelerating development plans as we seek to fully capitalise on the strong growth potential in our exciting and growing esports activities.’