You are not regarded as a "Stakeholder" in this and you are about to be "Robbed" - your work, past investment and effort, are the ONLY things that generate the cash that keeps this zombie behemoth pubco going - all that and YOU are just little teeth in the cogs of the machine that is sucking you dry.
Punch need to explain exactly what they are proposing to do with YOUR money.
IF YOU AREN'T A PUNCH TENANT - please tell friends family and any publican you bump into about it. Pass it on!
The scheme announced yesterday for the restructuring of Punch Taverns is frankly terrifying.
A reasonably good summary of the situation can be found here:
Of extreme concern is the fact that if this restructuring is approved Punch will transfer £52 Million of their last remaining £58 Million pounds of available cash to pay the bondholders in Securitisation B. That monsy does not belong to Punch, it is MY money and that of thousands other lessees. It is their cash DEPOSIT money.
Each and every of 4000+ Punch tenants are required under contract to give Punch a Rent deposit of up to 3 months rent as credit collateral. Fully subscribed this amounts to £29 million. If Punch’s free cash reserves are reduced to £6 million as suggested, then it's tenants deposit money that's being paid to Bondholders. It seems that Punch are entitled to do this under the terms of the Bond that they make their tenants sign.
Punch will be an immeasurably weaker company after the restructuring and will be unable to resist any commercial shock as they will have minimal remaining reserves. If Punch go into liquidation and administration, subsequent to this transfer of reserves then, the freeholds are likely to be transferred to new freeholders in an administration “firesale”.
The contracts which will also be transferred will retain the legal requirement that a tenant must lodge a 3 month rent deposit with the freeholder and as it will not have been transferred from Punch this liability will fall on the tenant. Who will be in breach of contract if he fails to lodge the deposit and can be evicted.
My legal advice is that the deposit money belongs to me, but if it is effectively “stolen” then that puts me in the position of having been a victim of a crime, but that will not absolve me of my obligation to lodge a deposit under the contract. At best I will be an unsecured creditor of Punch a long way down the queue for reimbursement.
I wanted to raise this point with you as I feel it is important that the fact that over 4000 small businesses are about to be placed in significant jeopardy by this proposal, which on the face of it seems to be quite legal.
I do not know what organ of government might be responsible for overseeing this kind of matter but am hopeful that you will be able to bring it to the attention of the appropriate people before it is too late, which will be February 14th 2014.