Punch withdraws restructuring proposals

The listed group, which operates more than 4,000 pubs in the UK, has withdrawn restructuring proposals in the face of opposition from junior debt holders including Oaktree Capital Management.

UK pub operator Punch Taverns has withdrawn debt restructuring proposals 48 hours before a meeting that would have seen them put to a vote.

In a statement, the UK-listed company said the withdrawal was decided “in order to facilitate a period of further engagement with stakeholders”.

These stakeholders include junior bondholders Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon Europe and Warwick Capital Partners.

The company warned, as it has done previously, that it would default on its debt without a “consensual restructuring”. It added: “The board remains of the view that a consensual restructuring is in the best interests of all stakeholders and can be agreed ahead of the next covenant reporting date of 15 April.”

Punch’s £2.3 billion of debt is held in a complex structure involving two separate securitisations. Punch A holds £1.46 billion across nine separate notes, while Punch B holds £900 million across seven notes.

The company has been attempting to restructure for more than a year. In January, it published the restructuring proposal that Friday’s meeting would have voted on. Those proposals would have required 75 percent of bondholders across all 16 classes to approve them.

The original proposals can be found HERE

Goldman Sachs and The Blackstone Group International Partners are acting as advisors to Punch.

Punch’s share price had fallen by 8.14 percent to 11.48p as of 11:00 on Wednesday, down from a 52 week high of 17p, giving the company a market cap of just £76.4 million.