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LONDON-Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has paid euro 493 million ($672 million) for 364 pubs from brewer Spirit.

The details were released in a Stock Exchange announcement which added that Tchenguiz had then leased the pubs to rival brewer Scottish & Newcastle. The deal increases the number of pubs run by S&N to around 1,500. The deal will also be a major boost to its brewing arm, Scottish Courage, which will supply beer to the pubs.

Spirit, which is left with around 2,000 pubs, decided to sell the properties after a review of its estate concluded that certain sites would operate better as tenanted businesses.

Tchenguiz is one of London’s best-known and richest property entrepreneurs, and last month bought almost 180 high street outlets including Hogshead bars from private equity owned Laurel and has a 13% in troubled Regent Inns Plc. He beat out competition from one of Britain’s biggest pubs companies, Punch Group Plc, and Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, which last week bought the Burtonwood pubs group, in the pub auction organized by Deutsche Bank.

Britain’s pubs sector has recently undergone a wave of consolidation as market leaders such as Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns, and also property groups, snap up outlets to gain economies of scale in a still fragmented industry.

Tchenguiz, who recently sold major shareholdings in pub chain Pubmaster and Odeon Cinema, set up Globe Pub Co. in order to buy the outlets. His portfolio of property across the UK is worth approximately euro 5.8 billion ($7.7 billion).

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