>> Britain's largest coffee chain is set to become its own separate business. Whitbread is set to spin-off Costa Coffee, away from its Premier Inn hotel chain. Reuters' Paul Sandle in London says it's come after pressure from investors.>> Investors have been pushing Whitbread to split in half, splitting off Costa from Premier Inns.
Because they think both separately listed businesses would be worth more in total than Whitbread is at the moment. They think Whitbread's worth about 7.7 billion pounds. Some investors say the separate businesses would be worth 10 billion combined.>> Whitbread's CEO, Alison Brittain, says the split will happen as soon as feasibly possible, within the next two years.
But that may be a tall order.>> There's a lot of work to do separating these IT systems, back office functions like human resources and other functions. It's going to be quite a complicated split. Because the business isn't quite similar, they serve similar markets about consumer facing businesses.
>> Whitbread says the timing of the decision wasn't influenced by shareholder pressure. But that both Costa and Premier Inn have attracted long-term international opportunities. Premier Inn is expanding in Germany. While Costa, which is already the world's biggest coffee shop chain after Starbucks, is growing in China.