European private equity provider, Cinven, today announces that, following shareholder approval at the Enterprise Inns plc (“Enterprise Inns”) Extraordinary General Meeting this morning, Enterprise Inns will acquire the 83.2% equity stake in the Unique Pub Company (“the Company”) held by a Cinven-led private equity consortium comprising Cinven, Legal & General Ventures and Princes Gate Investors (“the Cinven Consortium”) for a consideration of approximately £609 million (€912 million)*. The transaction will complete tomorrow, 31 March 2004.

Enterprise Inns will acquire the stake through the exercise of a call option over the Cinven Consortium’s shares. The Cinven Consortium will wholly exit the Unique Pub Company and will no longer have any interest in the Company’s shares. Morgan Stanley provided advice in relation to the call option held by Enterprise Inns.

In March 2002, Cinven led the group of investors, which formed the Unique Pub Company Limited, to purchase the combined estates of the Unique and Voyager pub estates. Enterprise Inns, a member of that group, acquired a 16.8% stake in the Company and agreed a call option over the Cinven Consortium’s shares as part of the transaction. The total enterprise value of the acquisition of the Unique and Voyager pub estates from Nomura International plc was £2,013 million (€3.2 billion).

Since acquisition, the operations of the two estates have been merged and an acceleration of the lease conversion programme of Voyager’s estate undertaken. The combined Unique and Voyager estate was the subject of a successful additional securitisation programme which raised £855 million.

Cinven partner, Dick Munton, said today:
“This has been a highly successful investment for Cinven which has resulted in a return of over twice our invested capital in only two years. When we made this investment, we knew that we were backing a management team with the ambition and experience to create significant value and the performance of the business has, indeed, been excellent.”

Cinven partner, Yagnish Chotai, added:
“We are very pleased that a highly innovative transaction structure has delivered a successful outcome for both Cinven and Enterprise Inns.”

*Exchange rate at close of 29 March 2004 of €1.497 to £1.00 has been used.