Exclusive – Punch completes £600m debt refinancing: Punch Pubs & Co, the Clive Chesser-led, 1,235-strong pub company, has completed a £600m debt refinancing, Propel has learned. Punch is understood to have successfully issued £600m of senior secured notes due 2026 at a yield of 6.125%. Propel understands the offer was oversubscribed and completed within four days of its launch earlier this month. The proceeds from the offering will be used to redeem and repay all existing debt of Punch and its subsidiaries. Concurrently with the issuance of the notes, Punch also entered into an undrawn revolving credit facility with Barclays Bank and National Westminster Bank, which will provide for borrowings of up to £70m. In addition, Punch had cash of more than £20m on its balance sheet at the time of completion of the bond issue. Chesser told Propel: “We can confirm we recently took the opportunity to refinance our debt facilities. This process has been concluded successfully, signalling great confidence in our business plan as we emerge from the pandemic and the current trading restrictions. The new bond structure provides us with enhanced flexibility for the future.” About 93% of Punch’s sites are freehold or long leasehold, and a recent valuation of its property portfolio valued it at approximately £850m. Its pub estate is well distributed across the UK, with a large proportion of its properties located in south east England and the Midlands. In refinancing documents seen by Propel, the company said: “We have a strong presence in suburban and rural areas, which has contributed to the resilience of our estate during the covid-19 pandemic by positioning us to benefit from demand generated by customers working from home. We believe our extensive suburban and rural footprint, together with our flexible food offers and substantial outdoor trading areas, will drive our results as the UK economy generally, and the hospitality industry in particular, begins to reopen and move toward more normalised operations during the second quarter of 2021.”
Punch features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is now available to Premium subscribers. Punch had turnover of £178,700,000 in its most recent financial year, making it the 30th highest out of the 215 companies featured in the database. The Blue Book provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email email@example.com to sign up.