UK: Punch Taverns unveils revised plans to restructure its debt

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham - Credit: PA

Pub company Punch Taverns said today that it remained on track to meet expectations for its full-year results as it unveiled revised proposals to restructure its debt.

Punch, which owns about 4,300 pubs across the UK, including many in East Anglia, said its underlying net income was 3.3% down in the 40 weeks to May 25, with its performance having improved to a fall of only 0.7 in the last 12 weeks.

The group, which also reported the sale of 246 pubs so far this year for a total of £84million, slightly ahead of their book value, is seeking to reduce a £2.4billion debt burden which it built up during an acquisition spree before the financial crisis.

Plans to restructure its securitised debt were first published by the group in February this year but senior noteholders rejected the proposals, claiming that they treated junior lenders too favourably.

Under the revised proposals announced yesterday, senior noteholders are being offered accelerated repayment, over a five-year period, and an option to sell their senior notes for cash.


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Executive chairman Stephen Billingham said: “Our profit performance for the year to date has been in line with our expectations, with improving trends in the underlying business.

“Our trading performance has benefited from recent operational improvements through continued investment in our core pubs and increased field team support and we are on track to meet our full year profit guidance,” he added.

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“The revised restructuring proposals reflect the results of an extensive process with stakeholders. Importantly, these proposals achieve an equitable solution by directing more of the group’s finite cash resources to the senior classes of notes, whilst still providing good value recovery for the junior classes of notes.”

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