Thursday, April 23, 2015
Punch Taverns braces for end of beer tie
Steve Moxon has it. Wake up Britain!
OUR pubs are being flogged off by fly by night companies set up to profiteer from the beer tie. They don't even OWN 'their' pubs. They have NEVER 'owned' 'their pubs'. They bought the pubs with borrowed money, they've burned their shareholders, they've burned their bondholders, they're burned their publicans, and their boards of directors earn bonuses for selling hundreds of 'under-performing' pubs every year, reducing their estates to a rump of what they once were, with no strategy for the future other than to continue flogging off their estates.
Check out their annual accounts, the size of their estates, their debt levels, their interest payments, how many pubs they sell for alternative use every year for the clear picture.
Meanwhile the ONLY way they survive from being wound up is by inexorably aggressively putting up rents and their wholesale supply prices and forcing their lessees, the people who earn ALL the money these pubco's declare as profit, their thousands of renting publicans, into business failure. This happens to each pub again and again (called churn) and ultimately leaves pubs so chronically dilapidated through lack of investment they become unfit for purpose as catering businesses - by which time no one will lease them and the pub company flogs them off for alternative use. Job Done. If anyone doubts this cycle of events: to keep the churn underway Punch, Enterprise Inns, and others like them, now even lease pubs directly to Tesco; a match made in private equity heaven.
Punch is a zombie company that in any rational circumstances would have been wound up years ago.