Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Punch Taverns boss warns of default if debt deal is rejected

10:56 05 February 2014

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

The boss of pubs group Punch Taverns has warned its lenders to accept a deal to restructure its £2.3billion debt burden or face the prospect of default.

shares

Stephen Billington, executive chairman at Punch, said that the business would face uncertainty if its plans were not accepted in a vote due to take place on February 14.

Punch owns more than 4,000 leased and tenanted pubs, including a strong presence in East Anglia where, due to past acquisitions and mergers, it includes a number of former Tolly Cobbold properties.

It has been in talks with its lenders and shareholders for more than a year, with initial proposals having been published in February 2013, followed by a revised scheme in June and another in December.

Several groups of bondholders, with stakes sufficient to block the deal, have already said they will vote against the latest package.

They are understood to feel that the proposals unduly favour the interests of sharesholders and are pressing for the company to engage in further talks

However, Mr Billingham said that the company had already spent 14 months trying to find a solution “to accommodate all of the conflicting views”.

He said: “The next few days will be some of the most important in the company’s history. Everyone has something to gain by voting for the proposal.

“Failure to effect a restructuring will lead to a default in the securitisation, which is expected to have a material negative impact on the business.

“Punch has a very good underlying business with a positive future and its assets provide a focal point for 4,000 communities across the UK.

“Just as Punch’s operational performance is turning the corner, the last thing the business needs is for continued uncertainty.”

However, in an intereview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Billingham warned there would be a “mess” if the propsoals were not passed, adding: “I have real concerns that nobody has an alternative out there that is realistic or sensible.”

shares

0 comments

Sizewell A and B

Staff at the redundant Sizewell A nuclear power station will have to wait to find out if their jobs are safe from planned redundancies.

The opening of Precision Marketing's new headquarters in Bury St Edmunds.

An expanding marketing services firm celebrated the official opening of its new head office in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Arlingtons new art exhibition, Liz and Ken Ambler at the launch

Music, art, wine and a great deal more

Steven and Debbie Morgan pictured when they took over The Royal Oak earlier this year

Firefighters were called to a pub last night following a water leak which caused flooding.

Abby Curtis who is opening Pump and Grind coffee shop in Great Colman Street with Tom Kerridge

The business team behind a new cafe have said they are disappointed they will not able to serve alcohol when opening for the first time on Saturday.

Rachel Pearlman, Zoe Bradbury, Jack Northcott and Jordan Keeble of Ginger Nut Media team  at the OXO Tower in London, after being awarded as the best level of support during Advanced Apprenticeships.

A digital advertising firm is celebrating after scooping an award for its supportive training regime.

Royal Mail has seen a rise in annual profits.

Royal Mail today reported a rise in underlying annual profits as a squeeze on costs helped offset a lower than expected performance from its parcel business.

Bury Council Building Angel Hill.

The new chairman of Bury Town Council has said he intends to make the authority relevant after claiming it has done “almost nothing” for the last few years.

Tesco  Group Chief Executive Dave Lewis

Tesco paid £4.1 million to new boss Dave Lewis in his first six months after he was brought in from consumer goods group Unilever to turn around the embattled supermarket.

A branch of cash and carry chain Booker

The country’s largest cash and carry chain is to buy Londis and Budgens in a £40million deal to boost its scale amid the ongoing supermarket price war.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages