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Press Release

Press Releases

GMB: Punch debt equity swap is step in right direction for 5,000 tied pub tenants

GMB press release

For a thriving pub sector we need open market rents for tenants who
can compete on price in buildings refurbished to a high standard and
where customer service and care is the top priority says tied tenants
union

GMB, the union for tied pub tenants, responded to media reports that
Punch Taverns plan to open talks with bondholders on converting debt
to equity as a way of getting rid of unsustainable debts.

Paul Maloney GMB National Officer for tied pub tenants said “If
these reports are true this is, at long last, a step in the right
direction for 5,000 pubs and 5,000 tied pub tenants provided the debt
equity swap is done properly. GMB were pilloried when we called for
this step to be taken in November 2010. See GMB release in notes to
Editors below.

When the Spirit demerger was announced last March we reiterated this
point as follows: “The only real solution is to convert the debt
to equity is a combined pub business as GMB proposed in November
2010. We said then that for a thriving pub sector we need pub
companies charging open market rents to tenants who can compete on
price in buildings refurbished to a high standard and where customer
service and care is the top priority. That way there will be a decent
income for all the stakeholders. This is still the case.”

GMB see this as an essential step in unwinding the madness of the
private equity vast debts model which has blighted the likes of
Southern Cross, Four Seasons, AA and the pubcos.

GMB, where allowed to do so, has played a very constructive role in
the unwinding of debts in other sectors. I would welcome a private
meeting with Roger Whiteside and Stephen Billingham to go over
GMB’s experience of this debt unwinding process. GMB can set out
what our members in the sector see as the way forward for a better
future for all the stakeholders.”



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