Punch Taverns stock lifted by hopes of debt breakthrough

Michael Bow
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PUB operator Punch Taverns rose nearly 10 per cent in trading yesterday after it said a complex plan to reduce its huge debt pile was on track – but agreement still needed to be reached with key bondholders.

The company, which owns about 4,000 pubs across the country, said a new deal on one chunk of its borrowings – known as Punch A – would see total net debt reduce from £1.51bn to £1.16bn.

A deal on the second set of borrowings – known as Punch B – still needs more negotiating time the company said, ahead of a 14 January deadline to launch final proposals on the plan.

The Punch A deal would see £500m of M1 and M2 notes replaced with £318m of M3.About £450m of B-D bonds would also replaced by £183m of B4 and £100m of cash under the terms of the plan, the company said in a statement.

Shares closed at 11.88p.