Whitbread Transfers Liabilities to Surplus Property Solutions September 29 2015

Whitbread Plc (“Whitbread”) the UK’s largest hotel, restaurant  and coffee shop operator and owner of the Costa Coffee and Premier Inn brands, has transferred 16 unwanted leasehold  liabilities to Surplus Property Solutions (“SPS”), an expert in legacy liability disposal. The 16 pubs and nightclubs have a total liability of over £42 million and many are on long leases. This Whitbread transaction follows leasehold liabilities transfers carried out by Rentokil, EMAP, Santander, Virgin Media, Wolseley, Carillion, and Morrisons, amongst others.

The deal was brokered by Fraser CRE, a specialist provider of outsourced surplus property services to the corporate occupier.  Tim Malthouse, Chairman, said “we are focused on saving our  clients money in all areas of their portfolio and based on a solid decade of leasehold liability transactions bringing great results, we are delighted to have been able to pair up Whitbread with  Surplus Property Solutions.  This should be a transaction that benefits both parties”.

Adam Foster, Director of SPS commented, “We are confident that we will be able to get these liabilities away for Whitbread, as we have done for numerous other proactive blue chip counterparties, and in doing so help them clean up their balance sheet and continue to focus on their core property business”.

What our counterparties and clients say:

"This transaction is the fourth major leasehold liability transfer in the past 18 months and demonstrates how the market is continuing to mature. We are now seeing unprecedented levels of activity and expect further portfolios from both public and private sector occupiers to come to the market during the course of this year." Kevin Vickers, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield

"This deal enables our Estates team to focus on our sizeable store portfolio where we are continually striving to deliver a great retail experience for our customers. We can now do this in the knowledge that the experts at SPS are aligned with our interest of driving redundant property costs out of our business." Charles McKendrick, Head of Asset Management, Morrisons Plc


"Reported (surplus) property provisions total £4 billion, which represents almost 9% of the total provision reported by (the top 200 companies in the FTSE Index). For those reporting a property provision this equates to 0.5% of turnover..." GVA Grimley, “The Impact of Property on UK Business”, Spring 2008

"Above all SPS provide insight and understanding to the somewhat arcane world of leasehold liabilities and other property related issues as well as offering solutions that have enabled us to transfer risk on a cost effective basis. I would strongly recommend their services to anyone trying to deal with the complicated or difficult liabilities." James Scott, Managing Director, RBS Equity Finance.


"The sale of Rentokil's surplus leasehold liabilities was an innovative transaction. Passing cash and some £35 million of long term liabilities over to a 3rd party was heavy with risk, and in these circumstances we were acutely aware that success could only be judged over the medium term. The project is all about delivering hard won surrenders, sub-lettings and dilapidation claims. The testament to the skills of SPS is that 90% of the liabilities have already been extinguished." Robert Bailey, In-sourced Property Director, Rentokil.


"This deal with SPS has, in a single transaction, enabled us to refocus our resources on our operational estate. We found SPS had exactly the right approach and experience to do the deal." Andrew Thexton-Pee, Senior Estates Surveyor, Carillion Plc