Patron Capital completes £1.8 billion acquisition of Punch Taverns

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Drinks: Drinks
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Investment company Patron Capital has completed its 180p per share purchase of 3,200 mostly freehold or long lease pubs from Punch Taverns.

As previously reported, around 1,900 of the pubs have been sold to Heineken in a £305 million back-to-back deal, set to complete next week. Patron will own the remaining pubs as well as the Punch Holding Group.

Patron managing director, Keith Breslauer, said: ‘Completing this complex deal paves the way for an exciting future for Punch as a more focused business. This is a company that has undergone a number of challenges and distractions in recent years but has a portfolio of high quality pubs with excellent future potential.

Under private ownership, with strong financial backing and our commitment to continued investment, Punch’s pubs and publicans will have our full support to deal with changing market dynamics and provide their customers with the best possible offer.’

Punch is currently divided into two whole business securitisations, known as Punch A and Punch B. Punch A has approximately £770 million of gross debt, secured against the 1,900 pubs which have been sold to Heineken UK. Punch B has approximately £550 million of gross debt secured against around 1,300 pubs. Punch will continue to operate the Punch A pubs for Heineken for six months under a transitional services agreement.

Patron, who has partnered with May Capital on the investment, says it expects to invest in the remaining pubs through refits and ‘adapting and modernising operating models’ such as the roll-out of the managed operating format, and continued sale of non-core assets.

Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Punch, added: ‘This has been a long road and we are delighted that we are now able to move forward with clarity. I am proud of the professionalism of the Punch employees during this period of uncertainty, and remain sure of their ongoing commitment as we look to an exciting future under new ownership.’

 

About Author

Claire Dodd

As a freelance journalist, Claire has written about pretty much any topic you can imagine, from which are the best sausages, to how to flood-proof your home. However, her writing on drinks began when she landed a job as a features writer for the Publican magazine in 2007. Adjusting to a lifestyle of sampling the best drinks from around the world was tough, but someone had to do it. Having left the title in 2011, today Claire focuses on drinks and travel writing for both consumer and trade titles. Aside from searching the globe for the best drinks, and the nicest spots to consume them, she also judges global brewing competitions and keeps an eye on the business moves of the on-trade.

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