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De Vere sells five Tavern depots

Published:  23 July, 2008

Dermody 'delighted' to have sold

The De Vere Group has announced that its wholesale business, Tavern Group Limited, has sold the business and assets of five depots to The Beer Seller Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of HP Bulmer Holdings plc, for approximately 2.5 million. The depots are based at Colchester, Greenford, Bishop's Stortford, Peterborough and Cromer. The purchase comprises stock, debtors and property leaseholds and the transfer of 125 employees. At the presentation of its preliminary results on 6 December 2000 the group announced that Tavern would be discontinued within the group by March 2001. The sale represents more than 20% of the current Tavern business and discussion continues regarding the sale of the remainder of the business. A further statement will be made in due course. At the time of going to press, Harpers understands that Halewood may take over the group's northern depots. Paul Dermody, chief executive of De Vere, said: "I am delighted that we have sold these depots and that they will now operate within a group that is more focused on this market. We are working hard to finalise the sale of the outstanding depots. "We are looking forward to concentrating on our core business of hotels and health and fitness. We are confident that we will continue to deliver growth and create value for our shareholders." The De Vere Group has three core operations: 21 De Vere Hotels, its Village Leisure mid-market hotels and Greens, its health and fitness club brand. The transformation, which involved the sale of its tenanted pubs, gaming machine hire operation and pubs and restaurants business, meant the company returned 529 million of cash to shareholders.