'Private equity group plotting bid for Punch Taverns'

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Related tags: Punch taverns, Private equity firms, Kohlberg kravis roberts, Private equity

Private equity group CVC is thought to be plotting an audacious bid for Punch Taverns, whose leased and managed pub estates have combined debts of...

Private equity group CVC is thought to be plotting an audacious bid for Punch Taverns, whose leased and managed pub estates have combined debts of £3.1bn. The pubco has been plagued by speculation that it will hand back the keys on many of its outlets and CVC, which first considered a bid two years ago, is understood to be in talks with Punch's adviser Goldman Sachs about a bid for part of the 6,800-strong leased pub estate. It is likely to face competition from other private equity bidders, including TPG Capital, which is also talking to Goldman about buying some or all of the leased pubs. TPG, formerly Texas Pacific Group, was a major investor in Punch before it floated in 2002. - Daily Mail

TDR Capital, which recently bought 333 pubs from Mitchells & Butlers, is thought to be interested in Punch Taverns' 835 managed pubs. City sources say that Apax Partners, Bridgehouse Capital, Charterhouse Capital Partners and Cinven are also interested in Punch. - Daily Mail

Edinburgh licensing chiefs have drawn up plans that could lead to a ban on new pubs and clubs in busy areas including George Street, Picardy Place, Lothian Road, Princes Street and the centre of Leith. Any ban could also affect restaurants and off-licences, although it is thought they would be more likely to be exempted. Council chiefs are now asking health bosses for more in-depth figures on the impact of pubs and clubs in each area before deciding whether to oppose any new premises. - Scotsman

The Conservatives are calling on the Scottish Government to ensure the ban on below-cost-price sales of alcohol set out in a recent Treasury paper will also apply in Scotland. Murdo Fraser MSP, shadow cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, has written to the Health Secretary to urge her to use processes within the Scottish Parliament to incorporate the ban as part of a strategy to tackle the country's drinking culture. - Press Association

Some Jersey pubs face closure if ministers on the island agree ministerial duty hikes next week, according to Jersey's biggest pub group. The Liberation Group, which runs 44 pubs on Jersey, says that the proposed 6.2 per cent rise in alcohol duty will put the futures of some pubs and the jobs of those who work in them at risk. Liberation Group chief executive officer Mark Crowther says that the duty rise proposed is triple the current rate of inflation, and will only drive people out of pubs and encourage them to get their alcohol from off-licences and supermarkets. - Jersey Evening Post

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