Punch Pubs

  (Redirected from Punch Taverns)

Punch Pubs & Co is a pub and bar operator in the United Kingdom, with around 1,300 leased pubs.[2] It is headquartered in the traditional brewing centre of Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange as a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index until its sale in 2016 for £403m to a private equity fund, Patron Capital, acting in concert with Heineken International who acquired 1,900 of Punch's pubs as part of the deal.[3]

Punch Pubs & Co
Private company
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HeadquartersBurton upon Trent, England, UK
Key people
Clive Chesser
Steve Dando
Revenue£420.8 million (2015)[1]
£183.9 million (2015)[1]
£ loss 82.6 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
409 (2015)[1]
ParentPatron Capital & May Capital


The company was established by former PizzaExpress head Hugh Osmond and Café Rouge founder Roger Myers in 1997 when they bought the Bass Brewery portfolio of public houses.[4] In 1999 Punch purchased Inn Business Group plc,[5] and later Allied Domecq's pubs for £3 billion, beating a rival bid from Whitbread.[6][7] After the deal, Punch spun off its managed pubs into a separate division, Punch Retail, which was later renamed Spirit Group.[8]

In 2002 Punch demerged the Spirit Group[9] and then floated itself on the London Stock Exchange.[10] Punch acquired its larger rival Pubmaster in November 2003 for £168m, which included taking on Pubmaster's £1bn debt; the move took the group to more than 7,000 pubs and made it at the time the largest pub operator in the UK.[11] After completing this deal Punch later bought InnSpired Inns plc,[12] and then Avebury Taverns.[13]

Meanwhile, Spirit Group (at that time independent from Punch Taverns) expanded when it acquired Scottish & Newcastle's 1,450-strong pub estate in 2003, beating off rival Mitchells & Butlers.[14]

In September 2005, Spirit Group sold its "City Nights" portfolio of in excess of 180 pubs and clubs, en-bloc, to Alchemy - the financial backers behind the newly formed Tattershall Castle Group (TCG).[15]

In December 2005, Punch agreed to re-acquire the Spirit Group for £2.68bn which since 2002 had been owned by the private equity firms Blackstone, Texas Pacific and CVC Capital Partners.[16]

In 2006 the Company sold its Old Orleans pub chain, which it had acquired when it bought Spirit Group, to Regent Inns.[17] Punch also sold 290 Spirit sites to the private equity firm GI Partners.[18]

In March 2008 Punch withdrew from a bid to merge with Mitchells & Butlers.[19]

On 22 March 2011 Punch announced that as part of a strategic review it would demerge its managed pub division.[20] Spirit Pub Company was established as a separate company and took over 803 managed pubs and 549 leased pubs. This included the branded pubs Chef & Brewer, Taylor Walker Pubs, Fayre & Square, Original Pub Company, Flaming Grill Pub Company, John Barras Pub Company, Wacky Warehouse and Good Night Inns. Each shareholder in Punch received one share in Spirit Pub Company. The demerger was effective on 1 August 2011.[21] Spirit was subsequently acquired by Greene King in 2015.[22]

In October 2015 Punch disposed of its 50% holding in Matthew Clark, a drinks wholesaler and distributor, to Conviviality Plc.[23][24]

In December 2016 the company accepted a takeover bid totalling £403m being 180 pence per share. Around 1,900 pubs are to be sold to Heineken International for £305m. The remaining 1,300 pubs and the company's liabilities are taken over by Patron Capital & May Capital.[25][26]


Leased pubsEdit

Punch had 4,096 pubs as at 17 August 2013. Of this total, 2,990 were classed as core. The company's stated aim is to make each core pub "the best of its type in its marketplace".[1] The remaining 1,106 are classed as non-core. The company operates non-core pubs to maximise short-term returns with a focus on costs and cash-flow, with an expectation that most will be sold within four years. Approximately 1,100 non-core pubs had been sold between 2011 and 2013.[1]

Debt and going concernEdit

The company and its subsidiaries have issued loan notes in two separate tranches; tranche A (£1,449m of debt secured on 2,356 pubs) and tranche B (£884m of debt secured on 1,675 pubs). In their 2013 annual report, approved on 24 September 2013, the Directors state that the group is in compliance with its covenants and has adequate cash resources for the foreseeable future. However, the Directors state that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders to achieve a consensual renegotiation of both of the securitisations. If a covenant breach were to occur and if loan note holders were to require immediate repayment then the ability of the group to continue as a going concern would be in doubt.[27]


Punch Taverns was one of the companies reviewed as part of a 2009 House of Commons monopolies inquiry into pub groups. On 13 May 2009, the report[28] was published, and it "raises a series of questions about the pub company (pubco) tied pub business model and calls on the Government to act urgently, in particular, to refer the matter to the Competition Commission. It challenges the pubcos which operate a tie to prove its benefits by giving lessees the choice between a tied or free of tie lease."[29] The report also raises issues regarding the actual conduct of pubcos in dealing with struggling tenants. Shortly following the committee's report CAMRA issued a 'Super-Complaint' forcing the Office of Fair Trading to investigate this within 90 days. The OFT published its report on 22 October 2009. The report largely cleared the industry of behaving in any way that caused damage to consumers [30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Punch Taverns. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Start a Pub Business with the UKs Largest Pub Company". punchtaverns.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Punch Taverns in multi-million pound deal with Heineken". Sky News. 15 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Company History". www.punchtaverns.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Packing a Punch". Morning Advertiser. 28 August 2001. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Punch Taverns plc -- Company History". Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  7. ^ Mr Punch aims at Allied Domecq Independent, 22 June 1999
  8. ^ "Business Big Shot: Hugh Osmond". timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Punch weighs up £4bn demerger". The Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  10. ^ Shanny Basar. "Punch rises above issue price in revived IPO". efinancialnews.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ Mark Milner. "Punch agrees to buy Pubmaster for £1.2bn". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  12. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - Punch buys Innspired pub group". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Punch swallows Avebury for £219m - Business News - Business - The Independent". The Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Spirit poised to buy £2.5bn S&N pubs". The Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Pub News & Pub Property Search for the UK pub trade". MorningAdvertiser.co.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  16. ^ Punch Taverns buys rival pub operator Spirit for £2.68bn
  17. ^ "A Golden Time For The Sharks". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 3 April 2015.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Catering & Hospitality News". Caterer Search. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Punch Taverns cancels M&B merger". news.bbc.co.uk. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008.
  20. ^ Company announcement of proposed demerger
  21. ^ "Spirit shares start trading after Punch demerger". The Publican's Morning Advertizer. 1 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  22. ^ "Greene King completes Spirit deal and forms the UK'S leading managed pub company". Greene King. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Conviviality deal with Matthew Clark clears last hurdle". The Drinks Business. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  24. ^ "Completion of acquisition and change of name" (PDF). Conviviality Plc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Heineken knocks out rival in bid for Punch Taverns". Dutch News nl. 16 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Punch Taverns agrees takeover bid from Heineken and partner". The Guardian. 15 December 2016.
  27. ^ Punch Taverns Annual Report 2013 page 46
  28. ^ House of Commons. Business and Enterprise Committee: Pub Companies Retrieved 06-07-2009
  29. ^ MPs publish report on pub companies Archived 2009-12-14 at Archive.today Retrieved 06-07-2009
  30. ^ 'Office Of Fair Trading Website - OFT publishes response to CAMRA super-complaint Archived 2009-10-29 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 6 November 2009

External linksEdit