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Heineken moves closer on Punch Taverns acquisition

DBR Staff Writer Published 07 February 2017

Heineken has moved a step closer to completing its purchase of Punch Taverns after its investment vehicle acquired a significant stake in the British pub chain group.

Vine Acquisitions, the vehicle Heineken shares with partner Patron Capital, has acquired 28.5% stake in Punch Taverns.

In December last year, Punch Taverns announced that it was in advanced negotiations with real estate investor Patron Capital Advisers to sell its 3,000 plus pubs. Heineken, in turn proposed to buy 1,900 pubs from Patron Capital.

In this regard, Vine Acquisitions purchased a total of aggregate of 63,310,488 ordinary shares. The shares put together represent nearly 28.5% stake in the capital of Punch, with each of them bought by Vince at 180p.

Heineken and Patron Capital have support of the Punch Taverns’ board of directors as well as the pub chain’s three major investors Glenview, Avenue Capital and Warwick Capital Partners in the takeover deal.

A statement released by Vine Acquisitions to the London Stock Exchange read: “As described in the Offer Announcement, each of Glenview, Avenue Capital and Warwick Capital Partners, and the Punch directors who hold or are beneficially entitled to Punch shares, entered into irrevocable undertakings with Vine Acquisitions in respect of their entire holdings of Punch shares immediately prior to the Offer Announcement.

“The irrevocable undertakings represent approximately 52.3 per cent of the existing ordinary share capital of Punch.”

Joint bidders Heineken and Patron Capital faced competition initially from Emerald Investment Partners, the investment arm of Punch Taverns’ founder Alan McIntos, which had offered to buy Punch Taverns at a slightly higher price of 185p per share.

However, Emerald Investment had backed out of its takeover offer earlier in the month to leave Heineken and Patron’s combined bid unrivaled, reported Reuters.

Image: Heineken brewery in Zoeterwoude, Netherlands. Photo: courtesy of M.Minderhoud/Wikipedia.org.