Punch Taverns sells 158 pubs for £53.5m
Punch Taverns has announced the sale of 158 pubs for £53.5m to real estate investment trust NewRiver Retail.
The sale is part of the pub company's strategy to sell off "non-core" estate at a rate of approximately 200 pubs a year.
The average sale price of the pubs was around £340,000, which Punch said was above book value and significantly ahead of the average proceeds achieved for previous non-core disposals.
The unconditional agreement is expected to complete on 11 September 2015, with the consideration to be satisfied in cash. The proceeds will be used to reduce net debt.
Once the deal is complete, the Punch estate will comprise around 2,900 core pubs and roughly 550 none-core pubs.
The pubs being sold generated earnings before interest and tax of £7.3m over the last 12 months and have a current book value of £52.5m.
Punch will issue a full year trading update for the financial year to 22 August 2015 on 1 September 2015.
Duncan Garrood, chief executive officer of Punch Taverns, commented: "This transaction is in line with our stated strategy of disposing of pubs within the non-core estate, reducing the overall level of our debt, whilst focusing on our higher quality core pub estate."
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