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Monday, 13 May 2013

Punch Taverns restructuring talks in difficulty

Punch Taverns have been holding talks with its debt holders, which according to insiders, have reached a stalemate. This could lead to the business defaulting on its debts and going into administration.  The group owes some £2.4bn spread between 2 divisions which owns 4000 pubs.  The parent company is paying about £2m per month to stop the divisions defaulting on the debts.

The plan needs the approval of three-quarters of creditors for the restructuring to be implemented. Punch has said that it wants an agreement to be reached by the end of next month, or the company could go into default.

Given the size of the company and its dominance in the UK pub market it is likely some sort of deal will be thrashed out.  Punch have previously said that a pre pack administration would not be in the interests of the company or its shareholders.

A company source told the Mail on Sunday that; ‘We are still trying to achieve a solvent restructuring.’

But one key shareholder said: ‘The company could end up being forced down a pre-pack route, which would wipe out the shareholders, including many employees.’

Punch recorded a pre-tax loss of £16.7 million in the six months to the end of March.   Like so many others pubs have found themselves under increasing pressure from supermarket discounting, taxes and low consumer spending.

If your pub business is struggling why not read our guide on how to rescue your pub, hotel or restaurant business

The guide covers:

  • Is my pub or hotel company insolvent?
  • How can a pub get a time to pay deal with HMRC for PAYE and VAT?
  • What is a Company Voluntary Arrangement and why it is a great rescue tool
  • How to cut costs in your business
  • How to deal with a winding up petition from HMRC.

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