Paveley appointed to Admiral chair

By Mark Stretton, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Punch taverns Debt Public house Bankruptcy

Paveley: Admiral's new executive chairman
Paveley: Admiral's new executive chairman
Jonathan Paveley, the former Punch Taverns director, has been appointed executive chairman of Admiral Taverns. He replaces Gary Landesberg following...

Jonathan Paveley, the former Punch Taverns director, has been appointed executive chairman of Admiral Taverns.

He replaces Gary Landesberg following a refinancing of the business, which was concluded earlier this week and saw Lloyds Banking Group acquire an equity stake in the tenanted and leased pub group.

Paveley will take the helm of an experienced management team that also includes Andy Clifford, Lynne D'Arcy and Peter Brook.

Paveley told M&C Report: "It is very early days for me to start talking about the future direction of the business, and clearly it is a challenging market, but the financing difficulties the company faced have been dealt with and I see lots of opportunities."

He said that the appointment - instigated by Lloyds - would not affect his other roles. Paveley is chairman at Hook Norton, the Oxfordshire brewer and pub retailer, and Matthew Clark, the drinks wholesaler and distributor.

He was previously commercial director of Punch Taverns, and before that strategy director at Greene King.

Paveley's appointement follows a debt restructuring, which saw Lloyds write off about £600m worth of debt.

The deal, in the form of a prepack administration, came about after it fell behind on repayments of more than £1bn in debts.

Under control of the Landesberg and Rosenberg families and with loans from Bank of Scotland, Admiral made a string of acquisitions of around 3,200 bottom-end pub estates from the likes of Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns and Greene King, transforming it into the UK's third-largest leased and tenanted pub operator.

The company forecast a 7% drop in be volumes before the start of the smoking ban but has been hit by far larger drops than that.

Under a debt-for-equity swap, Lloyds is expected to take a stake of just under 50% in return for writing off some of the debt.

Lloyds does not want to take a majority stake in Admiral in order to avoid having to consolidate the pub group's accounts into its own.

Admiral raised around £100m last year through pub sales — it is thought pubs were selling for around an average of £330,000. Sources indicate that pub sale values have dived this year to below and average of £200,000.

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