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Friday 05 March, 2004

Office of Fair Trade

Merger Update

Office of Fair Trading
05 March 2004



INVITATION TO COMMENT

Anticipated acquisition by Whitbread plc of the Premier Lodge business from
Spirit Group Holdings Limited

The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether arrangements are in progress
or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation
of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act
2002.  Should it be found to be a relevant merger situation, the OFT will
further consider whether the creation of that situation may be expected to
result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in
the United Kingdom for goods or services that warrants reference to the
Competition Commission for investigation and report.

Affected Sector: Budget hotels

Please send written representations about any competition or public interest
issues to:

Mr P Fraser
Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JX
FAX: 020-7211-8916
to arrive by 19 March 2004


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            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange                                                                                                                                

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