News Column

Punch Taverns In Deal To Sell Five More Central London Pubs

June 3, 2014

Steve McGrath

LONDON (Alliance News) - Punch Taverns PLC Tuesday said it has reached a deal to sell five central London pubs to Manica Properties Ltd for a total of GBP9.7 million, part of a continuing programme to offload its worst-performing pubs.

In a statement, the company said the pubs are all freehold outlets and are being sold for cash, which it will use to reduce its debt and reinvest in its remaining pub estate. Just last month, the company sold four other London pubs for GBP6.7 million.

Punch's pub disposal programme is part of a wider effort to repair its balance sheet. It ran into financial trouble after its debts got too large and its trading performance deteriorated, and it is in protracted talks with its noteholders about debt restructuring.

In the first half of its financial year, Punch sold 140 pubs in total, realising net proceeds of GBP51 million for those and other assets. It had 995 pubs in the portfolio it is trying to sell on March 1, out of an estate of 3,956 pubs.

Punch Taverns shares were up 7.1% at 11.25 pence Tuesday, one of the biggest gains on the London market.

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Source: Alliance News

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