Future unclear over quintet of local pubs

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THE future of five of Wigan’s most popular watering holes is uncertain following a takeover.

Greene King has bought the Spirit Pub Company whose outlets in the Wigan borough are The Red Robin at Robin Park, the Venture in Highfield, the Charnley Arms at Standish plus the Robin Hood and the Bay Horse, both in Ashton.

The new bosses insist the £774m deal will only create opportunities for growth and expansion rather than jeopardise jobs.

Greene King CEO Rooney Anand said: “The proposed acquisition represents a key step towards our objective of building the best pubs and beer business in the UK.

“This exciting combination of the Spirit business with Greene King accelerates our momentum and is in line with our stated strategy of further improving the quality of our pub estate and increasing exposure to the growing eating-out sector. This offer represents a fair price for Spirit’s high quality estate that fits well within the Greene King portfolio on both a brand and geographic basis.

“The combined business will deliver the best pub portfolio in the UK as we combine high quality pub assets, industry-leading brands and talented hospitality teams. We believe this acquisition will drive attractive long term returns for both sets of shareholders, with the combined business benefitting from significant operational efficiencies and cost savings.”

The new offer values Spirit at 115p per share, which is higher than the original offer of 100p that was rejected in September.