East Anglia: Punch Taverns completes financial restructuring deal

Pubs group Punch Taverns has completed its financial restructuring, more than 18 months after publis

Pubs group Punch Taverns has completed its financial restructuring, more than 18 months after publishing its first proposals. - Credit: PA

Pubs group Punch said today that it had completed its financial restructuring, with all remaining conditions now having been satisfied.

Under the agreement, Punch has issues more than 3.7million new ordinary shares which were admitted to the London Stock Exchange for dealings at 8am today.

A total of just over 4.4m ordinary Punch shares are now in issue, although the company plans a consilidation under which one new share will be issued for every 20 currently held with effect from Monday, OCtober 13.

Punch added: “An announcement providing further information on the debt structure of the Punch A and Punch B securitisations will be made later today following termination of certain interest rate swaps at completion and the related issue of Super Senior Hedge Notes and a Super Senior Swap Loan as contemplated by the prospectus.”

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 underwent major expansion through a programme of acquisitions before the financial crisis hit and was left nursing debts of around £2.3billion, even after selling off hundreds of pubs.

The group has spent more than 18 months attempting to agree a deal to address the debt burden, with an inital set of proposals having been published in February last year, followed by revisions in June and December.

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A vote due in February this year was cancelled at the last minute when it became clear that the terms were likely to be rejected by group’s of bondholders with stakes sufficient to block a deal.

They believed the proposals on offer at that time unduly favoured the interests of shareholders, and further talks resulted in the debt-for-equity swap now completed.

Punch’s borrowing’s have beeen reduced by £600million but its established shareholders have been left owning just 15% of the company.