Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Punch Taverns calls off key vote on debt restructure

09:35 12 February 2014

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Pubs group Punch Taverns admitted defeat today in its attempt to convince lenders to back a controversial plan for tackling its £2.3billion debt mountain.

shares

Britain’s second biggest pub owner, which has around 4,000 leased and tenanted pubs, including many in East Anglia, caved in to opposition from the bondholders by agreeing to cancel a vote on the proposals due to take place on Friday.

It will now reopen talks with lenders in a bid to achieve a “consensual restructuring” in the best interests of all stakeholders by mid-April, when it could default on its debts unless an agreement is reached.

In a last minute plea to bondholders last week, executive chairman Stephen Billingham warned the company faced uncertainty unless the restructuring proposals were accepted, and insisted that Friday’s vote would go ahead.

He said the company had spent 14 months trying to find a solution “to accommodate all of the conflicting views”, and that leders faced the prospect of default if the proposal was not accepted.

There are 16 different classes of debt within Punch’s two property company subsidiaries. Some bondholder groups expressed concern that the existing proposals were skewed in favour of shareholders and would still leave the company heavily in debt.

Mr Billingham said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph last week that there would be a “mess” if the vote was not passed, adding: “I have real concerns that nobody has an alternative out there that is realistic or sensible.”

The group said in a statement today: “Following feedback from a range of stakeholders, Punch has decided to withdraw the resolutions which were to be put to the Noteholder meetings convened for February 14, 2014 in order to facilitate a period of further engagement with stakeholders.

“As previously announced, both securitisations will default without a consensual restructuring. The board remains of the view that a consensual restructuring is in the best interests of all stakeholders and can be agreed ahead of the next covenant reporting date of April 15, 2014.”

Punch added that, for procedural reasons, Friday’s meetings would still have to be held but they would now be formally opened and closed without any business being transacted.

shares

0 comments

Man ran up £24k debt on company credit card

A financial manager from west Suffolk who used his company credit card to join internet dating sites and buy flowers and jewellery, has been jailed for 15 months.

Dot Booley, 67, is skydiving for Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund (HCNCF)

A thrill-seeking grandmother is to take a 13,000ft leap of faith for the charity that supported her husband through his final days.

The first phase of work to build a dementia memory walk in the corridors of West Suffolk Hospital has begun as a fundraising campaign to pay for the work more than doubled its £25,000 target to reach an impressive £60,000.

Long Melford Open Spaces volunteers at work planting trees in the country park.

A village park which the county council gifted to the local community three years ago has so far cost ratepayers £42,000 to maintain, it has been claimed.

Suffolk's former Chief Constable, Simon Ash launching the Bin a Blade amnesty in December 2010.

Police chiefs last night insisted Suffolk is a safe place to live despite new figures revealing officers have seized more than 500 weapons being carried in public in the last four years.

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent months being mentored by a progressive pig farmer near Woodbridge as part of the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer Training Programme, launched in 2012. Photo by Daniel Lynch (lynchpix.co.uk).

A student with no previous experience in farming has made an impression working with livestock in the Suffolk countryside.

There is an environmental message behind the bike ride

In the fortnight that the Full Monty has been driving women mad at the Ipswich Regent and the Puppetry of the “O er Missus” has brought tears to the eyes of male theatre-goers in town, it’s emerged that another event for the broad-minded is on the drawing board.

Outgoing county council leader Mark Bee.

Members of Suffolk County Council’s Conservative group have until 5pm tonight to submit nomination papers for the jobs of leader and deputy leader of the authority.

Stock image of fire crews attending an incident.

Firefighters were called to a fire in an undercover market in Clacton last night.

Drink-driver Gintaras Sendzikas after his court hearing

An April Fools’ day drink-driver is facing a possible jail term after being arrested for drink-driving twice in 24 hours.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages