Punch Taverns Aims to Cut its £2 Billion Debt

Punch Taverns has revealed a complicated plan which would see its debt split into two securitised vehicles, Punch A and Punch B, in order to slash the cost of servicing its £2bn debt by £600m and cutting cash interest payments to £32m a year. The news comes after Punch’s bondholders threw out a previous attempt at slashing the pub giant’s chronic debt burden earlier this year. The group said it was hopeful the latest deleveraging proposal would fare better. A statement from Punch said, “The board expects the revised restructuring proposals will be supported by a broader group of stakeholders.” Chairman Stephen Billingham said that Q3 trading performance had benefited “from recent operational improvements, through continued investment in our core pubs (average £100,000 per pub)”. The group said like-for-like net income in the core estate was down 0.7% in Q3, compared with 3.3% lower in the 40 weeks to 25 May.

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