Glenview, Avenue and Warwick all backed an improved Heineken/Patron Capital Partners bid which has been revised to 180p per share – up from yesterday’s offer of 174p a share - valuing the ordinary share capital of Punch at £402.7m.
If successful, the Dutch brewer would take on 1,900 Punch pubs making it the third largest pub company in the UK behind Enterprise Inns and Greene King with a total estate of almost 3,000 pubs. Patron Capital, meanwhile, would retain the remaining 1,300 sites, a Heineken spokesman confirmed to The Morning Advertiser.
“The Punch Board and management team have positioned Punch to drive long-term value for shareholders and our recent performance has demonstrated the successful execution of this strategy reflecting the hard work and quality of the whole Punch team,” Stephen Billingham, chairman of Punch, said. “While the Board did not solicit this offer for the company, we believe this is a good outcome for shareholders as the offer provides cash certainty at a significant premium.”
David Forde, Heineken UK’s MD described the news as a ‘huge vote of confidence in the great British pub’.
“Our proven track record of success demonstrates that well invested and well run pubs in the leased and tenanted sector can thrive. Today’s development is good news for pub-goers across the UK, who will see the benefit of better pubs in their communities. We look forward to welcoming new licensees in to Star, and to working with them to grow their businesses.”
Stephen Green, senior partner of Patron, added: “Our offer creates an exciting opportunity for Punch as a more focused business. Under private ownership, with strong financial backing, and a commitment to continued investment, pubs and publicans will have our full support to deal with changing market dynamics and provide their customers with the best possible offer. These are high quality pubs with excellent future potential.”
Heineken already owns 1,049 leased pubs through its Star Pubs & Bars division.