Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

East Anglia: Punch Taverns calls off key vote on debt restructure

09:35 12 February 2014

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Pubs group Punch Taverns admitted defeat today in its attempt to convince lenders to back a controversial plan for tackling its £2.3billion debt mountain.

Britain’s second biggest pub owner, which has around 4,000 leased and tenanted pubs, including many in East Anglia, caved in to opposition from the bondholders by agreeing to cancel a vote on the proposals due to take place on Friday.

It will now reopen talks with lenders in a bid to achieve a “consensual restructuring” in the best interests of all stakeholders by mid-April, when it could default on its debts unless an agreement is reached.

In a last minute plea to bondholders last week, executive chairman Stephen Billingham warned the company faced uncertainty unless the restructuring proposals were accepted, and insisted that Friday’s vote would go ahead.

He said the company had spent 14 months trying to find a solution “to accommodate all of the conflicting views”, and that leders faced the prospect of default if the proposal was not accepted.

There are 16 different classes of debt within Punch’s two property company subsidiaries. Some bondholder groups expressed concern that the existing proposals were skewed in favour of shareholders and would still leave the company heavily in debt.

Mr Billingham said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph last week that there would be a “mess” if the vote was not passed, adding: “I have real concerns that nobody has an alternative out there that is realistic or sensible.”

The group said in a statement today: “Following feedback from a range of stakeholders, Punch has decided to withdraw the resolutions which were to be put to the Noteholder meetings convened for February 14, 2014 in order to facilitate a period of further engagement with stakeholders.

“As previously announced, both securitisations will default without a consensual restructuring. 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 April 15, 2014.”

Punch added that, for procedural reasons, Friday’s meetings would still have to be held but they would now be formally opened and closed without any business being transacted.

0 comments

The Ipswich Foyer in Star Lane.

Thousands of people have signed a petition in protest against the proposed closure of a supported housing scheme in Ipswich.

The Buttermarket complex is being transformed and will house a gym, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema - Janice Poulson

The Buttermarket Centre in Ipswich is currently being converted to include a 12-screen cinema and chain restaurants including Wagamama, writes David Kindred.

The A12 as it approaches the Copdock roundabout.

Drivers experienced long delays after three cars crashed on the A12 northbound near the Copdock roundabout this evening.

The fire in Landseer Park

Community figures in Ipswich have been left aghast after two fires were started deliberately in just a handful of hours yesterday afternoon.

Ipswich Crown Court

Staff at an Ipswich post office and bookmakers were threatened with a knife and what they feared was a gun during a spate of robberies in the town, it has been alleged.

Bakery seeks baker and confectioner

Looking for a new job? Vacancies for swimming teachers, confectioners and apprentice business administrators are being advertised via Jobs24 - see more here.

The A12 southbound.

Thousands of jumpers – 5,000 in total – were stolen from a lorry parked on the A12 earlier this month, police have said.

Stansted Airport

A drone came within 25 metres of a plane landing at Stansted Airport and posed a “serious risk of collision” while two planes had a near miss, reports have revealed.

Ben Wragge

Two teenagers arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of a 13-year-old boy in Thurston will face no further action, police have said.

Man admits being drunk and disorderly

An Ipswich man has been fined after causing a drunken disturbance at a world music festival in Christchurch Park.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24