Guy Hands was in upbeat mood on Wednesday morning as he opened the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. By lunchtime, the 900 delegates had found out why, as he revealed what the markets had just been told.

His £2bn sale of the Unique and Voyager pub estates had earned both him and Nomura a handsome return.

Happy too that day was Ted Tuppen, the Enterprise Inns boss, who had just engineered the imaginative acquisition that will eventually make his company the UK's biggest pub owner by some way.

And it was probably not all doom and gloom at Punch, which had apparently been the losing bidder. Any disappointment felt by Punch's senior management would have been balanced, no doubt, by relief that they could now get on with their flotation plans rather than being tied up in a bidding dog-fight.

There was a real chance that Punch might have lost its float opportunity by delaying its IPO. Now, ironically, Enterprise's victory should boost its chances of winning City investor support.

Ted Tuppen has shown that a quoted company can succeed and win in the leased pub game. In fact, Tuppen has consistently out-smarted his critics and competitors in deal after deal.

This latest is particularly ingenious, using private equity capital to complete the deal while giving Enterprise two years to make the final acquisition, and avoiding any short-term shareholder difficulties into the bargain.

The question now is what next? The Unique and Voyager estates will continue to be run separately from Enterprise in the interim period, with Tuppen expected to become chairman of the new acquisition. He has said that from the beginning of October he will start to think how to manage the companies together over the remaining 18 months.

And that will give him some new challenges. The Nomura estates and existing Enterprise are different beasts in a number of respects. For one-thing, the ex-Nomura pubs come accompanied with large securitised bonds. Tuppen has so far avoided this popular form of cash generation.

Also a large proportion of Unique pubs are let to multiple operators, other pub operating companies. Tuppen has always stuck to recruiting individual licensees as lessees and avoided the problems of dealing with other corporates. Will this change?

The big question is when will Tuppen start his normal churn routine on his new estates, selling off the prime sites at a premium and casting off the poorer performers? There may be fewer poorer sites in this batch, but there are some big turnover businesses included, many let to other pub operators. These are the ones that may soon be set for disposal.

But it looks like we will have to wait until the autumn at the earliest to find out for certain what new strategies, if any, Tuppen will adopt.

What is clear now is that Guy Hands is departing a happy man to concentrate on other investments, including hotels, while Ted Tuppen is left as the man now calling the shots in the UK's leased pub market.