The boss of Regent Inns yesterday signalled his willingness to submit to a takeover bid as part of the continuing consolidation in the pub industry. The Times. Financial Times. The Daily Telegraph

Bob Ivell, executive chairman of Regent, which owns Walkabout sports bars, Jongleurs comedy clubs and the Old Orleans restaurant businesses, said it was ‘well placed to deliver value through consolidation’, either as a purchaser or as a seller.

Citing private-equity-backed rivals such as Novus Leisure, Laurel Pub Company and Inventive Leisure as possible partners, he said: ‘If the market gets tougher, it makes sense to put some of these businesses together.’

Poor summer
Regent blamed the absence of a football World Cup and the poor summer weather for a 2.8% drop in like-for-like sales. Turnover rose 16.7% from £127m to £148.9m in the year to 30 June, including 41 weeks trading from the 31 Old Orleans venues purchased during the financial year.

The chain said it invested £1m in preparing all its sites for the smoking ban and splashed out £10m in refurbishing the Old Orleans sites and plans to revamp a further 10 sites this year.