SFI Group plc

20 Oct 1999

SFI ACQUIRES LATIN AMERICAN THEMED BARS

SFI ACQUIRES LATIN AMERICAN THEMED BARS FROM CAPITAL RADIO

Simmons & Simmons advised SFI Group plc, the highly rated managed pubs group, on its agreement to acquire the Latin American Themed Bars of Capital Radio for a consideration of £9.45 million, which was announced on 15 October 1999. The Bars comprise six outlets trading under the Havana, Salsa and Cuba brand names in London (High Street Kensington, Hanover Square, Fulham and Charing Cross), Manchester and Glasgow, and a further development under the Hanover brand in Liverpool. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing for SFI and will consolidate their respected market position as a focussed brand led multiple retailer.

Simmons & Simmons was appointed to act for SFI for the first time on its proposed merger with Regents Inns plc in March this year.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by corporate finance partner Martin Saywell and included Grant Macpherson, Viveka Bonde and Charles Baynes-Reid (Corporate), partner Tim Barnard (Property), partner Nick Cronkshaw and Nick Thornton (Tax), Nick Bolter (Intellectual Property), Camilla Hohler (Pensions) and Nick Metson (Employment).

Commenting on this latest development, Martin Saywell said:

"It has been a demanding project completed within an exacting timetable. We are extremely pleased to have helped SFI Group plc in this latest step in its corporate strategy."

This is the latest transaction in the drinks sector where Simmons & Simmons Corporate Department has acted. The firm acted for The Brent Walker Group PLC on the £171 million disposal of Pubmaster in 1996; for Bass PLC on the transfer of Allied Domecq PLC's 50% share of Carlsberg-Tetley and Allied Domecq's beer brands to Bass and the simultaneous agreement with Carlsberg A/S to merge Carlsberg-Tetley with Bass Brewers Limited in 1996; for Interbrew SA on its acquisition of a majority interest in Trebjsesa Brewery in Montenegro in 1997; for Bass Brewers on its acquisition of the Carlsberg-Tetley Burton brewery and maltings operation from Carlsberg-Tetley Brewing Limited and its subsequent divesture in 1997; and for the majority investor into Honeycombe Leisure PLC, a 32 strong managed pub company, in 1998.

ENDS

Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at www.simmons-simmons.com.

2. The Corporate Department at Simmons & Simmons comprises over 220 legal staff (115 in London), including 47 partners (27 in London). It advises on the whole range of corporate finance activity, and mergers and acquisitions as well as other corporate law matters for listed and unlisted companies, in the United Kingdom and overseas.