Spirit looking at all options for its £700m debt

Oliver Smith
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SPIRIT Pub Company, the firm behind brands such as Chef & Brewer, Flaming Grill and Fayre & Square, is reported to be seeking a deal with its lenders over its £700m debt.

Repayments on the pub chain’s debt mountain are due to begin next year, with almost £19m due by the end of August.

However, Spirit is reported to be seeking to retain as much of its cash as possible in order to continue refurbishing its pubs.

The company – which runs 1,200 pubs across the UK including 800 managed pubs and 400 leased pubs – is considering renegotiating the terms of its loans with bondholders, according to The Sunday Times.

The pub operator was previously part of Punch Taverns, but was spun off as a separate company in 2011.

Spirit last month reported strong quarterly growth on the back of good Summer weather, with like-for-like food and drink sales of 4.7 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Its leased pubs also showed a growth in net turnover for the quarter of 2.2 per cent.

“We have delivered a strong finish to the financial year in both estates with our performance reflecting a combination of improved weather over the summer and further execution of our strategy,” said Spirit’s chief executive Mike Tye in September.

Spirit refused to comment over plans for its £700m debt.

Last week Spirit’s share price rose seven per cent to close at 74.5p.

The pub operator will report its interim results tomorrow.