This week’s exclusive Diary includes whispers about new M&B non-execs; justice done for pub property rogue Shaun Kiely; a fresh take on Enterprise’s share price; and Ralph Findlay’s eight hour cycle ride. Justice is done for Shaun Kiely The Kiely family, based in the north-west, loved the auction market. Paul Kiely generated around £160m at the pub auction market with his Provence vehicle, which sold over-priced freehold pubs to gullible investors. The company came crashing down in 2006 shortly after Alan Bowes’ London & Edinburgh, another company that developed a taste for the easy pickings of the auction market, toppled over. This week Paul’s brother Shaun was jailed for three years for defrauding investors in deals exceeding £1.3m. Shaun Kiely deceived investors in auctions in 2005 by promoting his S-Mart convenience stores as profitable freehold investments when very little trading was actually being done. Before and during 2005, his company purchased over 50 low value commercial retail properties across the country and created 20-year commercial leases to S-Mart for the properties before selling on the freeholds at auction. Shaun Kiely also entered the pub business for a while with a company, Penny Lodge Developments, which, like his brother Paul Kiely’s Provence, was buying freehold pubs and trying to sell them for big profits at auction thanks to inflated rents. Thankfully, Penny Lodge was short-lived. Shaun Kiely was also a director of Kiely Developments, a building company he ran with brother Paul in the 1990s, which collapsed after it was denounced in the House of Commons as a “cowboy builder” by MP Jim Dobbin. Diary, which did its level best to expose the, er, shortcomings of the Provence and Penny Lodge business models at the time, is pleased justice has been done for Shaun Kiely. Wahoo vs Woo Woo Cavendish Bars boss Christian Arden is, er, highly bemused. Luminar has opened a new bar called Woo Woo directly opposite his existing Wahoo site in Brighton. The interior of Woo Woo might look a little familiar to customers of Wahoo. Arden tells Diary: “I’m used to operations being copied. I’ve been very supportive of the changes Luminar management have made - the re-introduction of premium drinks and entertainment. This one I find hard to support. I think they could try a little bit harder than copying the bar across the road.” Common sense in law At last a little common sense in the law courts. It turns out you’re not liable if idiotic behaviour by a customer results in an injury. A recent case involved a woman who tried to slide down a banister at a JD Wetherspoon pub, fell and landed on a marble floor. She suffered a spinal fracture which resulted in tetraplegia. Wetherspoon argued that the woman had voluntarily assumed the obvious risk in sliding down the banister; the woman claimed the pub couldn’t use this as a defence. The High Court dismissed the claim, stating that the woman had deliberately taken the risk that she might fall and that Wetherspoon had no duty to protect her from such an obvious and inherent risk. Rugby pub set for Realpub conversion? Greene King believes that at least 20 of its sites can be converted to the premium Realpubs format it acquired for £53.1m earlier this year. Chief executive Rooney Anand reports the first seven sites have been identified. Diary hears that the St Margaret’s Tavern in the St Margaret’s area of London could be an early candidate. It’s a favourite of crowds heading towards Twickenham for rugby union internationals - and can get a little, er, overwhelmed on big match days. Valuable insight from M&C’s newest subscriber M&C Report had an interesting new subscriber last week. He shall remain nameless for Data Protection reasons but he’s looking at re-entering the UK market after spending the last few years heavily involved with the US hamburger operations Fuddrucker, which has just been sold for a reported $61m after becoming insolvent in April this year. His extensive previous UK pub experience includes Magic Pub Company, Morrels of Oxford and Eldridge Pope. Our new subscriber has noticed that certain of the pubs he knows well are now selling for the same price he sold them for in the 1990s. Findlay gets on his bike Well done to Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay who has completed his Wolverhampton to Aberdovey cycle ride. He reports: “My time was just under eight hours in what I would describe as ‘traditional Welsh summer weather’. To the best of my knowledge, there are no incriminating photographs of me wearing ridiculous cycling gear. Afterwards, I was quickly restored by modest consumption of Marston’s Pedigree!” Ralph raised around £4,000 for charitable causes. Non-exec whispers at M&B bash Dairy hears there was a fairly thin turn-out of City analysts for the annual Mitchells & Butlers summer drinks party last week. Those that did pitch up heard that one or two more non-executive directors are being lined up. Now there’s a surprise. Another take on Enterprise’s share price Congratulations to Sapient Corporate Finance founder Peter Hansen for providing a different perspective of Enterprise Inns share price at last week’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit, organised by M&C Report. He noted that Enterprise shares had floated at 21p and are now trading at around 70p, which means they’ve outperformed the FTSE100 over the period. “It’s a fairly amazing statistic,” he commented. If only people would invest for the long-term, eh? Thomas’ cabaret concept scales back opening days Former Luminar chief executive Steve Thomas opened the first of his Greene Room cabaret clubs in Milton Keynes in May. The venue offered entertainment across the week. Less than two months on, a reader contacts Diary to report that the venue is now closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - these were the nights offering films, karaoke and dating events. Events now focus on the Wednesday (Comedy), Thursday (Burlesque), Friday (Showtime) and Saturday (La Kabaret). Presumably they don’t go out much early week in Milton Keynes.