September 6, 2018 / 2:34 PM / 13 days ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Britain's Ei Group explores commercial properties sale (Sept. 6)

(Corrects typo in headline)

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s largest pub owner Ei Group Plc said on Thursday it had appointed Rothschild & Co to explore options including a full or partial sale of its commercial properties business.

Ei Group, formerly known as Enterprise Inns plc, also launched a 150 million pound unsecured bond offering and a tender offer for its outstanding 97 million pound convertible bonds.

Ei, like many UK landlords, has been battling higher costs from wage inflation, rising property prices and the weakness of the pound.

The company, which runs over 4,500 properties, said a hot summer and the FIFA World Cup boosted sales at its managed pubs, delivering a like-for-like sales growth of 6.6 percent for the 47 weeks to Aug. 25.

Ei’s shares shot up as much as 5 percent to hit a session high of 163.20 pence after the announcement, but pared some of those gains to trade up 1.9 percent at 158.8 pence by 3.07 pm London Time.

Its commercial properties business, one of the group’s four main units, includes free-of-tie pubs and other properties including former pubs which have been turned into retail units, the company’s website says.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Muvija M in Bengaluru

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