Press releases

Legal & General sells Amber taverns to MXP partners.

30 May 2011

Legal & General Capital (“LGC”), has successfully sold through LGV Capital, Amber Taverns (“Amber” or “the Company”), the operator of 95 community pubs in the North of England to funds managed by MxP Partners LLP and their associates.

MxP Partners, a founding shareholder of the business, has backed the existing management team, led by Clive Preston, James Baer and Bryan Wardman, valuing the Company in a transaction worth approximately £80 million. BlueBay Asset Management’s Direct Lending Fund has also provided finance for the transaction. Under the new deal, Amber will be looking to continue to grow the size of its estate across Northern England, the Midlands and Wales over the forthcoming years.

Based in Preston, Amber Taverns is a community pub company which owns and operates 95 pubs in the North of England and the Midlands through the Company’s innovative Operator Agreement, which incentivises its pub operators by giving them a share of the pub’s takings.

The Company typically acquires distressed and failing freehold pubs and revitalises them through a combination of significant investment and a consistent value for money offer, transforming previously unloved sites into viable and sustainable businesses at the very heart of their local community. Amber remains on track to have 100 pubs open by the end of 2014 and sites are secured for a further five pubs to open over the next six months.

Commenting on the investment, Paul Landsman of Legal & General Capital said:

“Amber Taverns has been an excellent investment for LGV Capital. We have backed the business during a period of significant growth, almost doubling the size of the estate and more than doubling turnover and EBITDA under our three years of ownership. We have a strong track record of investing in high quality asset-backed businesses with first class management teams and Amber has been no exception.

“The Amber investment has been a great example of LGC in action, benefiting policyholders, shareholders and wider stakeholders by backing best in class management, delivering market leading growth, and above all enhancing local communities through job creation and reinvestment in otherwise moribund businesses. We would like to thank the entire senior management team and all the staff for their hard work in making this a successful investment for all stakeholders.We wish them well for the future and are confident of their continued success.”

Amber Taverns’ Chairman Clive Preston said:

“The Board of Amber Taverns is delighted to have a new partner to continue the buy and build strategy of the Group. The continuing success of our business is proof that the traditional ‘wet-led’ pub is alive and well, and quality venues in a good location with a competitive offer will thrive.

“Our customers want to enjoy great pubs in their local community which offer value for money and which also screen the best sporting events and we are delivering exactly that. The guidance and support we have received from LGC has been invaluable in achieving the ambitious expansion plans we have pursued since their investment in 2010 and we look forward to the next chapter for Amber Taverns’ continued development with MxP Partners.”

Michael George, Founder of MxP Partners said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to re engage with the management team with whom we founded the company in 2005. Given MxP’s prior relationship with management and knowledge of the business, MxP were uniquely placed to acquire the business in a short period of time. By leading a select group of co investors in this transaction, MxP have completed another investment into a high quality, established growth investment. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to further expand and improve the business over the medium term.”

For further information, please contact:

Amber Taverns Tel: 01253 757 158
Clive Preston, Chairman
James Baer, Managing Director

LGV Capital Tel: 020 3124 2900
Michael Mowlem
Paul Landsman

MxP Partners Tel: 020 7529 7580
Michael George

Instinctif Partners Tel: 020 7457 2020
Matthew Smallwood
Justine Warren

Notes to editors

1. Legal & General Group Plc
Established in 1836, Legal & General is a leading provider of insurance, savings and investment management products in the UK. The Group has a market capitalisation of £12.1bn and is responsible for investing £450bn worldwide (as at 31 March 2014) on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders. We have over seven million customers in the UK for life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans and over one million customers in the US who rely on us for life assurance. In 2013, Legal & General's profits before tax (on the IFRS basis) were £1,134m; earnings per share were 15.20p and dividends per share 9.30p for the period, an increase of 10%, 10% and 22% respectively.

2. Legal & General Capital is the business division of Legal & General Group plc responsible for managing the Group’s principle balance sheet on behalf of policyholders and shareholders.
For more information on Legal & General, please see http://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/

Forward looking statements
Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast. This document may contain certain forward-looking statements relating to Legal & General Group, its plans and its current goals and expectations relating to future financial condition, performance and results. By their nature forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond Legal & General's control, including, among others, UK domestic and global economic and business conditions, market related risks such as fluctuations in interest rates and exchange rates, the policies and actions of regulatory and Governmental authorities, the impact of competition, the timing impact of these events and other uncertainties of future acquisition or combinations within relevant industries. As a result, Legal & General Group's actual future condition, performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set out in these forward-looking statements and persons reading this announcement should not place reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made only as at the date on which such statements are made and Legal & General Group Plc does not undertake to update forward-looking statements contained in this document or any other forward-looking statement it may make.

For more information please contact:

Richard King

Richard King
Head of Group Corporate Communications

t: +44 (0) 2031 242095
m: +44 (0) 7515 324001
e: richard.king@gro

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