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Thu 26th Jun 2014 - Breaking News - Punch Taverns reports restructuring progress
Punch Taverns reports restructuring progress: Punch Taverns has reported progress on debt restructuring proposals with support from a broad range of bondholders – but still hurdles to overcome. Junior notes would be exchanged for a combination of new junior notes, cash and ordinary shares in the company in a debt-for-equity swap. The proposals would result in a reduction in total net debt (including the mark-to-market on interest rate swaps) of £0.6 billion. Punch stated: “In consideration for the debt reduction, the debt-for-equity swap and placing contemplated by the proposals would result in significant equity dilution for existing shareholders, such that the company’s currently issued share capital would represent 15% of its total enlarged issued share capital following the restructuring. Were the proposals to be implemented, the reduction in net debt (including the mark-to-market on interest rate swaps) of £0.6 billion would result in a sustainable capital structure for the Group with the pro-forma net debt to EBITDA leverage of the Punch group falling to c.7.6x at transaction close. Gross securitisation debt of £1,564 million would have an initial effective interest rate of c.7.9% including PIK interest (c.7.1% cash pay interest). The Punch board continues to believe that a consensual restructuring is required to avoid a near-term default in the securitisations, which would be expected to have material adverse consequences for all stakeholders and, in particular, for shareholders given the various financial and contractual linkages between the securitisations and the rest of the Punch group. The board has carefully considered, with its advisers, the Proposals and the resulting significant equity dilution. It believes that it has considered all feasible alternatives to the Proposals and it has sought to minimise the level of equity dilution for shareholders. Given the broad level of stakeholder support for the Proposals, the absence of sufficient support for alternatives and the prospect of near-term default in the securitisations absent a restructuring, the Board believes that the Proposals are in the interests of shareholders as a whole and has therefore initiated the process to finalise and implement the Proposals as soon as appropriate. Implementation of a consensual restructuring would require the consent of other parties outside of the Stakeholder Group, including shareholders, all classes of noteholders in Punch A and Punch B and other securitisation creditors (including the monoline insurers, liquidity facility providers and swap providers). Accordingly, there can be no certainty that the proposals will be successfully implemented. Subject to the success of the covenant waiver requests and the receipt of the requisite approvals at noteholder and shareholder meetings and other stakeholder approvals, the Board expects that implementation of the Proposals will be completed in the final quarter of the calendar year.” Stephen Billingham, executive chairman of Punch, said: “We continue to make progress toward a consensual restructuring. These proposals have a high level of support, which reflects the hard work of a large number of stakeholders. There are still hurdles to be overcome before reaching complete agreement but we view the current situation as very positive and that a successful restructuring can be implemented. Continued constructive dialogue and determination from all involved will be required to achieve this.” Meanwhile Punch has reported like-for-like net income was up 1.4% in the its third quarter.
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