Punch pulls out of takeover talks with Mitchells & Butlers

18-04-2008

Punch pulls out of takeover talks with Mitchells & Butlers
Punch Taverns has pulled out of talks with rival Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) over the sale of its managed pub chain, Spirit.

In a statement, Punch said: "Punch has concluded that pursuing any transaction with Mitchells & Butlers, including any transaction involving Punch's managed pub business, would not be in the best interests of Punch shareholders at the current time and confirms that all such discussions have terminated."

Punch, which owns over 8,400 pubs across the UK, added it will report interim results on April 24th, which are anticipated to be in line with market expectations.

M&B said last Monday it had received several offers from private equity investors to take a minority interest in Mitchells & Butlers "at a material premium to the current share price".

The pub operator, which owns All Bar One and O'Neill, said it would use the finance raised by the sale of a minority stake to buy Punch's Spirit division.

At the time, M&B added any cash-raising deal would be purely to fund a possible acquisition – the company has no requirement for any capital injection to meet its existing funding needs.

Last February, Punch said it was considering a merger with M&B, but later changed its mind and withdrew the offer in March.

Birmingham-based M&B lost £274 million last year as the credit crunch hit a debt-financed property deal and has since struggled to recover.

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