The Spirit Group as of 2006 form part of Punch Taverns. Up until this point the business history of the group is interesting, although complex. In 2003 the Group acquired 1,400 pubs from Scottish & Newcastle retail, all of S&N's pub stock at the time for £2.51 billion. This made Spirit the largest independent pub operator in the UK. In March of the following year, 2004, Spirit entered into a sale and lease back deal for 220 pubs for around £500 million with Prestbury Holdings plc. The picture is further complicated by the sale of the 'premier lodge' business acquired from S&N to Whitbread plc. The sale of 141 hotels and 19 restaurants within hotels for £536.2 million. In October 2004 Spirit agreeed a lease back deal with British Land for 65 of its pubs for £174 million. Again in November of 2004 spirit was involved in the sale of more of it's assets by selling 364 pubs to the Globe Pub Company for £346 million. These pubs are now once again under the management of S&N in their Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises division. In September 2005 the group sold another 178 pubs to Tattershall Castle Group. In January 2006 Punch Taverns acquired Spirit Group with Andrew Knight appointed as Spirit Group managing director.
- Victoria Tate former head of Public Affairs.