Slaughters seals £350m rights issue for Punch Taverns

Slaughter and May has advised longstanding client Punch Taverns on a £350m rights issue, the ­second of its kind in the pub industry.

Partners David Johnson and David Watkins advised Punch on the placement, made last Monday (15 June).

London-based finance partner Philip Boeckman at Cravath Swaine & Moore advised Punch on US ­matters. Punch will use the funds to repay a convertible bond issue to the value of £200m. Thereafter it is understood the company will make selected purchases of securitised debt, “to remove an unhelpful overhang on the stock price”, according to a source.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner Simon Witty, together with corporate partners Jennifer Bethlehem and Sarah Murphy, advised joint bookrunners and sponsors Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

Witty said: “It’s an interesting structure that has been used before by Liberty International and Debenhams. It’s another example of the book-built approach to placing an open offer.”

Slaughters recently advised Punch on its £30m sale of 11 managed pubs to Birketts’ client Greene King (The Lawyer, 15 June).

Greene King used the proceeds of its own ­discounted £207m cash call – a first for the pub sector – to finance that acquisition (The Lawyer, 4 May).