Royal Bank of Scotland sells pubs business to Heineken

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State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland said Friday that it has sold 918 pubs to Scottish & Newcastle, the British division of Dutch brewer Heineken, for £422 million ($662 million, 491 million euros).

"The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc today announces the sale of its tenanted pub business to Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company Limited (S&NPC), a subsidiary of Heineken NV," it said in a statement.

"The business, which comprises 918 pubs across the UK, has been operated since 1999 by S&NPC under a management agreement."

The sale is part of Royal Bank of Scotland's ongoing plans to sell off non-core assets after receiving an enormous government bailout.

The British taxpayer owns 83 percent of the company after a huge state rescue that was triggered by the 2008 global financial crisis.

In a separate announcement, Heineken said it would combine the 918 pubs with its existing portfolio of 462 outlets in Britain.

The Dutch firm added that the acquisition would make it one of the leading pub owners and operators in Britain.

© 2011 AFP

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