UK brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner is to purchase six freehold London pubs from Punch Taverns for GBP21.1m (US$30.7m).

The purchase will be paid for in cash, financed from existing facilities, and is expected to be complete by 6 April 2009, Fuller said today (26 March).

The six pubs are The Scarsdale in Kensington, The Red Lion on Parliament
Street, The Queen's Head on Brook Green, The Hereford in South Kensington, Ye
Olde Mitre in Hatton Garden and The Swan on Bayswater Road.

"These are exceptional quality assets that fit well into our existing portfolio and we will move sympathetically to fold each pub's unique character and heritage into Fuller's," said Michael Turner, Chairman of Fuller's. "We continue to build our business for the long term and hope existing and new customers will come and enjoy these pubs for many years."

As managed pubs under Punch Taverns' ownership, the houses generated GBP2.5m of earnings before interest and tax in the 53-week period to 23 August 2008.

Fuller will run the houses as managed pubs, bringing its total managed
pubs and hotels estate to 162 and the total estate size, including leased and
tenanted pubs, to 365.

The acquisition is expected to have a "positive" impact on earnings immediately from completion, the company said.

Last month Fuller announced a 2.5% price hike on its beer. As part of the brewer's 2009 price review, the increases will come into effect on 1 April and will include all Fuller's and Gales beers in both the on- and off-trade.