Speculation surrounding the withdrawal of Whitbread from its
historical brewing roots made a muted entry into the media spotlight.
Coverage highlighted Whitbread’s plans to concentrate on its restaurants
and leisure businesses rather than continue to milk a declining beer
market - which has become overshadowed by its other divisions in recent
years. The possibility of Whitbread’s departure came as little surprise,
continuing a trend which began after the acquisition of Courage, sought
by Whitbread, went to Scottish and Newcastle in 1995.
The news attracted only two headline mentions in the Daily Mail and the
Sunday Times. Otherwise brief references were made in items on other
aspects of Whitbread’s strategy, including the possible sale of its
off-licences and expansion of other areas such as pubs and restaurants.
Although Whitbread played down the rumours, the news was well received
in the City, with increased share prices indicating acceptance of the
strategy before any formal announcement.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: