TROUBLED pub group
After years of impasse over how Punch could best secure the future of its 4,000 pubs while meeting its debt obligations, the group in June made progress when management agreed to discuss a debt-for-equity swap with its creditors.
Under the deal Punch's lenders will take around 85 per cent of its market value in exchange for reducing its total debt by £600m.
The deal leaves existing shareholders holding just 15 per cent of Punch's stock.
Last month Punch said its bondholders had agreed to waive the conditions of its loan agreements on the condi-tion that its restructuring was launched by 11 August. However, it is understood that last minute talks could mean the company will miss this deadline today, but that this is not expected to put the restructuring at risk.
Like many pub firms, Punch was hit hard by the country's downturn after building up a considerable amount of debt during an acquisition spree before the economic downturn in 2008.
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