11:19 Monday 09 December 2013

Pub giant reveals plans to reduce debt mountain

Written byROB SMYTH

Punch Tavern's offices, Wellington Road Punch Tavern's offices, Wellington Road

A BURTON-based pub giant has unveiled its latest efforts to try to restructure its near £3 billion debt pile.

Punch Taverns, based in Centrum 100, outlined the plans following talks with key investors to try to secure the long-term future of the firm which employees hundreds of people in the town.

The firm revealed that, while there was a broad level of support for the proposals, there were still a number of areas on which consensus had yet to be reached.

Stephen Billingham, executive chairman of Punch Taverns, said: “The modified restructuring proposals reflect the results of an extensive process of engagement with stakeholders and incorporate a number of structural changes requested by both senior and junior noteholders.

“We will now move forward to finalising the restructuring and formally launching the restructurings by January 15, 2014.”

The pubs group is trying to restructure its capital, its Punch A and Punch B securities, in an effort to improve its balance sheet and its debt-to-earnings ratio and attempt to avoid a default in the near future.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The board believes that these revised proposals are in the interests of all stakeholders, are capable of being successfully implemented and that the modified structure of the proposals has the support of a number of significant stakeholders.

“However, given the nature of the securitisation structures and the differing interests across many of the stakeholder classes, it has not been possible to reflect all of the views received during the engagement process and, as a result, there remain different and conflicting views from some stakeholders on certain aspects of the proposals.”

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