Dyson expected to split Punch Taverns into two

Marion Dakers
DEBT-SADDLED pub chain Punch Taverns will announce plans to splinter off its best-performing ventures tomorrow, a person familiar with the company said yesterday.

Chief executive Ian Dyson’s long-awaited review of the firm is said to have considered several options, including spinning off the directly managed pubs under the Spirit Group banner into a separate listed company.

This would leave Punch with around 6,000 leased pubs, which could then be closed or sold off to help tackle its £3bn debt pile.

Punch’s bondholders and their adviser Rothschild are also lining up buyers in case Dyson decides to simply default on the loans and hand over the securitised pubs.

Spokespeople for the bank and Punch both declined to comment yesterday.