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Whitbread set to spin off Costa

Whitbread has bowed to pressure from an activist investor and announced that it will spin off Costa Coffee into a separately listed business.

The group, which also owns Premier Inn, said on Wednesday it will pursue a “demerger of Costa”, which will be completed within two years.

It comes after activist investor Elliott revealed it had become the firm’s largest shareholder last week with a stake of over 6%.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: “Given the progress Whitbread is making, we are confident that both Premier Inn and Costa will soon be businesses of sufficient strength, scale and capability to enable them to thrive as independent companies.

“The board, therefore, believes that it is in the best long-term interests of Whitbread’s many stakeholders to separate Premier Inn and Costa, via a demerger of Costa.”

Ms Brittain said the separation, which will see Costa have its own listing, will create “long-term value” for stakeholders.

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