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Pub giant axes proposals to restructure debt pile

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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A BURTON-based pub giant has withdrawn plans to restructure its £3 billion debt pile after it looked likely that the proposals would be rejected.

Punch Taverns, which is based at Jubilee House, in Centrum 100, made the announcement just days before a crucial vote was set to be held on whether to accept the plans.

Now, the firm looks set to head back around the negotiation table in a bid to try to get all sides to agree to a proposal which will secure the firm’s future.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Following feedback from a range of stakeholders, Punch has decided to withdraw the resolutions which were to be put to the meetings convened for February 14 in order to facilitate a period of further engagement with stakeholders.

“As previously announced, there will be a 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 a new date of April 15.”

This comes after last week, in a last-minute plea to creditors, executive chairman Stephen Billingham warned that 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 view’, and that lenders faced the prospect of default if the proposal was not accepted by all involved.

The firm 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 was reached.

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