This suggests that Coca-Cola’s offer represents a premium of around 20 per cent on the coffee chain’s estimated value.

As well as returning proceeds to shareholders, the company said it intends to reduce debt and make a contribution to its pension fund — though did not provide precise details — in moves which it believes will allow it to continue its expansion of Premier Inn.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.