Bass Leisure Retail plans to rebrand up to 380 of the 550 Allied Domecq pubs it is to acquire from Punch Taverns in a £995m deal.
The pub giant is poised to convert 130 of Allied’s town centre pubs, including Firkin and Scruffy Murphy’s outlets, into Bass-branded bars such as O’Neill’s, All Bar One and It’s A Scream. The conversion programme is likely to take three years.
The 170 unbranded managed town centre houses will probably remain unchanged. But all of the 250 suburban pubs and Big Steak family restaurants Bass plans to acquire from Punch will eventually be transformed into Harvester, Toby and Vintage outlets.
The company will also be looking to develop Holiday Inn Express or Toby Lodge hotels next to its newly-acquired suburban pubs.
The London-based Nicholson’s chain, which comprises 40 pubs, will retain its name.
Punch Taverns, a private company, this week acquired Allied’s 3,500-strong pub chain for £2.75bn, following a protracted battle with Whitbread.
The deal, which includes the Britannia Soft Drinks business, will make Bass the country’s largest managed pub operator.
Bass Leisure Retail public relations manager Janice Clark says: “There are still one or two hurdles we have to get over before the deal is completed.”