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Punch Taverns Jumps as Morgan Stanley Raises Stake: London Mover

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Punch Taverns Plc rose 2.6 percent after saying that Morgan Stanley increased its stake in the U.K. pub owner to 12 percent amid discussions with shareholders on restructuring the business.

The shares climbed 0.19 pence to 7.60 pence in London, giving the company a market value of 50.5 million pounds ($82 million). Morgan Stanley increased its direct holding on Dec. 21 to 76.5 million shares from 69.8 million, Staffordshire, England-based Punch said yesterday in a regulatory statement.

Punch started restructuring its business last year, selling outlets to cope with falling sales and high debt levels. It disposed of 475 pubs in its fiscal year to Aug. 18, it said in an earnings statement, and has been in talks with shareholders as it seeks to restructure 2.4 billion pounds of mortgage-backed bonds. Its largest shareholder is Glenview Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company said Dec. 14 that talks with major shareholders about its financial reorganization were ongoing, and that it “continues to believe that a restructuring can be successfully implemented.” First-quarter profit performance was in line with the company’s forecasts, “despite the challenging market conditions.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Clementine Fletcher in London cfletcher5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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