Pub Group Puts Itself Up for Sale

Article excerpt

Pubs operator Honeycombe Leisure invited takeover bidders yesterday after a strategic review recommended that it put itself up for sale.

The Preston company, which has 115 pubs, said the best way to realise value for shareholders would be through an auction of the business.

The move comes just a day after Hardys & Hansons agreed to a takeover by Greene King in the latest example of a pubs chain being bought out by a larger group.

Honeycombe has a market value of almost pounds 5m, although it added yesterday its estate was valued at pounds 36.5m, down 3.7% on April 2003.

Gas discovery in North Sea

OIL exploration company Tullow was yesterday celebrating a potentially "significant" new gas discovery in the North Sea.

Tullow said it had encountered reservoir quality gas-bearing sands at its K4 well, which it is exploring in a joint venture with the UK arms of US energy company ConocoPhillips and Gaz de France.

A Tullow spokesman said the first gas from the well could be recovered towards the end of next year. …