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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 06:36 GMT 07:36 UK
Yates agrees to management buyout
Yates bar
There is fierce competition among bar operators
Bar operator Yates Group has recommended a 93m ($171m) buyout offer led by the firm's management.

Thorium - a company formed by Yates' management team and private equity firm GI Partners - has offered 140 pence per share for Yates.

Yates chairman Mike Hennessy described the offer as an "attractive price".

News of the deal came as Yates - which operates the Yates and Ha!Ha! chains - unveiled annual pre-tax profits of 4.1m, down from 9.7m last year.

High streets have become overly populated with bars and night-clubs
Mike Hennessy, Yates chairman
Pre-tax profits before exceptional items were 10.6m, up from 10m last year, while turnover was down 1.2% to 151.3m.

Like-for-like sales at the firm's Yates wine bars were down 3.9%, although sales at the refurbished 21st Century Yates were up 1.6%.

The Ha!Ha! chain saw like-for-like sales up by 3.2%.

"Much has been achieved at Yates in the last three years," said Mr Hennessey.

"However, during that same period high streets have become overly populated with bars and night-clubs and the sector is now intensely competitive.

"The independent directors therefore believe that the offer represents an attractive price for Yates shareholders."

Yates waits for management buyout
07 Jun 04  |  Business

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