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.’