Heineken victorious in £402.7m takeover battle for Punch TavernsComments Off on Heineken victorious in £402.7m takeover battle for Punch Taverns
Dutch brewing giant Heineken and property investor Patron Capital Advisers on Thursday won a £402.7 million takeover battle to snap up pubs giant Punch Taverns.
Punch Taverns, which has a 3300-pubs empire, said an offer from Patron Capital Advisers, has received support from its three largest shareholders as well as Punch Taverns directors, representing about 52.3% of the firm’s existing share capital.
Under the terms of the fully-funded deal, Patron will buy the business through a new company called Vine Acquisitions.
Heineken has then agreed a back-to-back deal with Vine to buy about 1900 of Punch Taverns’ pubs, giving it a total of around 3000 UK pubs. Patron is left with 1329 pubs.
Punch Taverns’ shareholders Glenview Capital, Avenue Capital and Warwick Capital Partners supported the 180p-per-share offer.
That is up from the 174p proposal that emerged yesterday, and all shareholders will vote in the first quarter of 2017.
Emerald Investment Partners, led by Alan McIntosh, the co-founder of Punch, had also approached the firm about a 185p offer, but is yet to table a firm bid. The shares rose by 1p to 178p after soaring 38% on Wednesday.
Stefan Orlowski, regional president Europe for Heineken, said: “This transaction is a significant step forward in our strategy to unlock value in the UK pub market. The performance of our Star Pubs & Bars business clearly shows that well invested pubs, in the hands of skilled and ambitious independent operators can outperform.”
However a host of campaigners have hit out about Heineken’s swoop, including the Campaign For Real Ale, which is concerned about competition. Colin Valentine, chairman of the lobby group, said it “is seriously concerned”.
Valentine said: “Any attempt to monopolise the industry goes against the spirit of the great British pub.” He added: “With 3300 pubs about to be sold this will bring huge uncertainty.”