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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 09:48 GMT
Marston's buys Eldridge Pope pubs
Eldridge Pope pub
Eldridge Pope's pubs are located across the south of England
Independent brewer Marston's has bought pub chain Eldridge Pope from entrepreneur Michael Cannon for 155m.

Marston's, which changed its name from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries at the start of this year, said it would keep 135 of Eldridge Pope's 153 outlets.

It intends to sell the remaining 18 sites for up to 10m.

The cash deal, which includes the assumption of Eldridge Pope's 17m debt, will increase Marston's pub estate to 2,485 outlets.

Rising sales

Marston's, best known for its flagship Pedigree bitter, owns the Pitcher & Piano and Taverners Carvery chains.

It added that its like-for-like sales, which exclude new pub openings, were up 7% in the 16 weeks to 20 January, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Eldridge Pope is based in Dorset, and its pubs are located across the south of England.

Marston's is based in Wolverhampton, and also brews beers in Burton-on-Trent and the Lake District.

Pub entrepreneur Michael Cannon bought Eldridge Pope in 2003.

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