Whitbread share price jumps as group wraps up Costa Coffee sale

By: Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son is part of Invezz’s journalist team. She has a BA degree in European Studies and a… read more.
on Jan 3, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Shares in Whitbread (LON:WTB) have climbed higher in London in today’s session as the Premier Inn owner announced that it had completed the sale of its Costa Coffee business to The Coca Cola Company. The UK group said that it had landed £3.9 billion in cash from the deal.

As of 14:41 GMT, Whitbread’s share price had added 1.09 percent to 4,651.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.25 percent higher at 6,751.29 points. The group’s shares have added a little over 17 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 12-percent dip in the Footsie.

Whitbread wraps up Costa Coffee deal

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Whitbread announced in a statement today that it had completed the sale of Costa Limited to The Coca Cola Company, and that it had received sale proceeds of £3.9 billion in cash. The company, whose shareholders overwhelmingly backed the deal in October, confirmed today that it was planning to start a share buyback programme, which is likely to commence following the release of the FTSE 100 group results on January 17.

Whitbread said that it had also reached an agreement with the Trustee of its defined benefit pension scheme, which will release Costa from its obligations to the Pension Fund and will involve a one-off contribution to the Pension Fund of up to £380 million.

Analysts on Premier Inn owner

The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Whitbread for the Financial Times have a median target of 4,900.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 5,900.00p and a low estimate of 2,000.00p. As of December 29, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.

As of 14:54 GMT, Thursday, 03 January, Whitbread plc share price is 4,644.00p.

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