Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°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

Jeremy Goulding, front, left, chief executive of Wheatley, is congratulated by Innovatioin Martlesham chair Ian Buxton on winning the first Innovationi Martlesham competition. Also pictured, from left, are Paul O'Brien of BT, Jane Bromley of Wheatley, Mike Ward of Wheatley and Mohamed Abdel-Maguid from University Campus Suffolk.

Software company Wheatley has been named winner of a new competition staged by Innovation Martlesham, the cluster of hi-tech companies based at BT’s Adastral Park research site, near Ipswich.

Suffolk cider and vinegar maker Aspall was named Business of the Year at last year's EADT Business Awards.  From left, Tom McGarry of EDF Energy, Barry Chevallier Guild of Aspall and Sarah Howard,  of SuffolkChamber.  	
Picture: Lucy Taylor

There is now less than a week to go to enter the 2015 East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards.

Total unemployment in the UK has reached a near seven year low, official figures showed today.
Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Unemployment in the UK has continued to fall and a record 31million people are in now work, according to the final labour market figures before the General Election.

The Nestle Purina plant in Sudbury.

KitKat, Nescafe and Shredded Wheat maker Nestlé said today that first quarter sales had been boosted by an earlier Easter, but with growth dented by currency changes after the Swiss central bank’s shock decision to lift a cap on the franc.

The B&Q store on the North Quay Retail Park in Lowestoft which is closing in January 2016. Picture: James Bass

DIY chain B&Q has announced its Lowestoft store will close at the start of next year, with reportedly 40 jobs being lost.

The team at Ipswich-based software company IJYI.

A start-up software business in Suffolk has secured a place on a Government panel allowing it to bid for the delivery of cloud technology services across the public sector.

Bury town centre on market day.

People are being asked for their views on Bury St Edmunds town centre to find out how it is performing and any improvements that can be made.

WH Smith today reported a strong first half for its travel stores.

WH Smith grew sales at its travel-based stores amid a surge in air passengers while its high street network saw a decline due to a tough books market, half-year results showed today.

The Debenhams store in Ipswich.

Department stores chain Debenhams today reported a 4% rise in half-year profits, helped by a tighter grip on promotions.

Alesha and Jonathan Gooderham at Snape Maltings.

The corporate team at regional law firm Birketts has been congratulated on its role in the acquisition of the Snape Maltings complex by the Aldeburgh Music Endowment Fund.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages