LONDON Jan 27 Punch Taverns' creditors
urged the British pub company on Monday to re-open negotiations
over a restructuring of its debt, saying they would not support
an earlier proposal to avoid a default.
The company announced it was embarking on a debt reduction
plan earlier this month, after being hit hard by Britain's
economic downturn, and is trying to reduce 2.3 billion pounds
($3.80 billion) of debt.
Punch's debt structure is complex, with debt split into two
securitised vehicles, Punch A and Punch B, and bondholders
rejected the proposal put forward early last year stating it was
too generous to shareholders and junior creditors.
The pub firm then put forward a revised proposal of a debt
extension and a haircut for some creditors on Jan. 15.
Creditors Angelo Gordon, Oaktree Capital Management and
Warwick Capital Partners said on Monday they were unable to
support the revised proposals, and would vote against them at
any meetings of the issuer companies.
"The creditors believe Punch should re-open negotiations ...
(and) remain willing to work in good faith to agree a consensual
restructuring for both Punch A and Punch B," they said in a
"(We) continue to believe this to be in the best interests
of all stakeholders," they added.
The creditors said they had various blocking stakes in a
number of classes of Punch A and B notes.
A spokesperson for Punch Taverns was not immediately
available for comment.
Bondholders will vote on the restructuring on Feb. 14.
Shares in Punch were down 3.1 percent at 15.25 pence at 0957