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Punch directors 'rule out' pre-pack 19 April 2013

A pre-pack administrative receivership has been ruled out by embattled pub and restaurant chain Punch Taverns following a restructuring meeting.

This week’s meeting follows a period of intense media scrutiny since it announced its original restructuring proposals back in February.

In a statement, issued after the meeting on behalf of Stephen Billingham, executive chairman and Steve Dando, finance director, the company admitted that some stakeholders had expressed their lack of support for the current terms of the restructuring proposals in the meeting.

They said: “Whilst it was not anticipated that agreement would be reached at the meeting, views were expressed that provide a basis for further discussion with stakeholders around the restructuring proposal. These discussions are ongoing.”

The company is pushing ahead with its restructuring, however. In its latest statement, the company directors said this would be launched ‘in the first half’ of 2013.

In the statement, they specified: “A recent external desktop property valuation undertaken by independent valuers, GVA, has indicated a current value of the core and non-core pub estates to be £1,415 million and £906 million for the Punch A and Punch B securitisation estates respectively.

“This compares to net debt of £1,366 million and £835 million as at 2 March 2013 for the Punch A and Punch B securitisations respectively.

“An analysis of the anticipated ratio of net debt to EBITDA in 2018 indicates that the restructuring proposal would reduce this ratio by approximately 3 times in the Punch A securitisation and approximately 5 times in the Punch B securitisation.

“[This is] compared to a scenario in which a consensual restructuring was not effected and the business plan implemented by an administrative receiver following a covenant default.”



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