Ei Group shareholders have unanimously backed the disposal of the group’s commercial properties arm for £348m.

A total of 99.99% of shareholders approved the deal at yesterday general meeting.

Completion of the first tranche of the disposal, comprising 348 of the properties to be sold, is expected to occur in early March 2019.

The package has been acquired by Tavern Propco Limited, a newly incorporated private company, which is owned, through intermediate holding companies, by investment funds managed and/or advised by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP. MCA flagged up Davidson Kempner as a suitor in December.

Ahead of yesterday’s meeting EiG updated on trading, reporting like-for-like net income growth of 2% across it tenanted and leased pubs estate in the 18 weeks to 2 February.

The group also revealed that like-for-like sales at sites that have traded as managed pubs for more than a year were up 5.7%, aided by a particularly strong Christmas.

The managed estate now comprises 398 pubs, up from 355 at 30 September 2018, with the expectation that there will be approximately 460 by 30 September 2019.