Fuller’s, the London brewer and pub operator, has agreed to pay £22.9m to acquire 15 freehold tenanted pubs from Enterprise Inns. Under Enterprise's ownership, the 15 pubs generated operating profits of £1.7m in the year to 30 September and had a balance sheet value of £18.4m as of that date. Enterprise Inns said the sale of the package was in line with its objective to use disposal proceeds and other surplus cash to reduce debts through repayment of bank debt or to purchase notes or corporate bonds. Fuller’s said that the transaction would be earnings enhancing for the company immediately upon completion, which is expected to take place by the end of March. This deal will take the total number of pubs acquired by Fuller's in the last 12 months to 29, which it said gave it “tremendous momentum” as the group heads towards the summer. The Chiswick-based company, which will fund the transaction from existing bank facilities, said the deal would allow its to bring the Fuller's brand into areas of the west and south east of England where it has previously been under-represented, while “amplifying our presence in core trading areas such as Hampshire”. It said that the trading style of the pubs was complementary to its own, and that they would benefit from its brand, the introduction of its “excellent range of cask ales and wines” and the experience of its tenanted business development team. Simon Emeny, Fuller's group managing director, said: “We are delighted to have added 15 more excellent pubs to the Fuller's estate. The transaction demonstrates the continuation of our strategy to selectively purchase only the highest quality pubs, where the Fuller's name and operating style can add real value.” Fuller's chairman Michael Turner said: “These pubs are carefully selected, quality assets and their acquisition is wholly consistent with our long-term strategy. We look forward to welcoming these pubs, their licensees and staff to the Fuller's estate." Leading analyst Douglas Jack at Numis commented: “We have previously said that 'substantial share price out-performance requires the company to…be acquisitive if the right deal becomes available'. Fullers has now acquired 29 pubs in the current financial year, increasing the size of its pub estate by 8%, prior to a small number of tail-end disposals. It is utilising the strongest brand and balance sheet in the sector with a view to exploiting the best opportunity to grow margins via increasing scale. The benefits of this strategy should be fully apparent in 2013E.”