Punch Taverns considers selling more pubs after strong demand
Punch Taverns is considering selling more pubs than the 500 it originally earmarked for disposal last year, after receiving strong interest from tenants.
Last year, the pub giant, which has around 7,560 leased and tenanted sites, offered first refusal to publicans at 500 pubs it had identified for disposal.
However it is now canvassing the level of interest from other licensees outside December's sample about purchasing their pub freeholds.
In a statement, Punch said: "The majority of our estate will remain with us, but we feel with finance costs so low, there is a window of opportunity now for some of our licensees to obtain a freehold."
a fall in profits at its leased estate.
The company, which along with Enterprise Inns defended the beer-tie at the Business & Enterprise Committee (BEC) inquiry into pubco power in December, has also promised to pass on rent savings to publicans if interest rates fall.
Punch said that, should the Retail Price Index decrease, it will pass on the reduction to tenants as a rent reduction at annual rent review time.
"Along with reduced wholesale price increases, this forms part of Punch's continued efforts to be genuine and fair to its licensees," said a spokeswoman.
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By Chris Druce
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